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  • Groupe BPCE , the second largest banking group in France, acquires German bank and fintech pioneer Fidor Group
  • Fidor’s founder and CEO, Matthias Kröner, remains as its CEO and shareholder

Fidor Group, the German digital challenger bank and fintech pioneer, is today announcing its acquisition by GroupeBPCE , the second largest banking group in France.

Groupe BPCE has signed an agreement with the key shareholders, founders and managers of Fidor Group relating to the acquisition of their equity interests in the company.

Fidor will capitalise on the support of Groupe BPCE to enable a strong international expansion, continue the development of its proprietary digital banking technology, and strengthen its presence in Europe.

Following the deal, Fidor will remain as an independent business. Founder and CEO Matthias Kröner will continue as the Chief Executive of Fidor, keeping a shareholding in the bank and leading its business strategy, development and international expansion as before.

Fidor Group will also adjust its internal structure, with the new ‘Fidor Holding Group’ acting as a parent company to the rest of Fidor’s business offerings – Fidor Bank (www.fidor.de) , the challenger bank, and Fidor AG (www.fidor.com), the digital white-label technology solution provider for digital banking and any future corporate offerings.

Matthias Kröner, CEO and founder of Fidor, commented: “This move will allow Fidor to continue its international expansion and drive the development of our innovative digital technology even further. In a world of increasing volatility, it is important to be member of a strong group and this transaction is strongly improving our overall financial sustainability. We are excited to have such a well-established partner as BPCE in the financial world that recognises the need for an entrepreneurial approach to banking and innovation.”

Kröner continued: “With a simplified shareholder structure, Fidor’s senior team, including myself, will be able to focus on expanding our core business offering and explore more market opportunities all over the world”

François Pérol, Chairman of BPCE, added: “This operation constitutes a key step in the acceleration of the digital transformation of our group. It further demonstrates our commitment to innovation, to developing a customer centric approach enabled by digital banking technology, and to be more involved in the digital and mobile banking field. We are very proud and happy to welcome Fidor’s teams, communities and clients into Groupe BPCE.”

The closing of the transaction will be subject to customary regulatory change of control approval from the European Central Bank, the BaFin and upon clearance from the German competition authority, expected in Q4 2016.

The deal was facilitated on behalf of Fidor Group by Heussen Law and Zelig Associates.

Founded in 2009 by its CEO Matthias Kröner, Fidor is one of the world’s first “fintech” banks, pioneering the collaboration between traditional financial services and technology businesses. Fidor offers a unique proposition with its collaborative banking experience, where 350,000 community members work together to help build the bank’s services and products.

Fidor has also developed its own proprietary technology platform – the Fidor Operating System (fOS) – which enables open, fast and advanced API banking. This week, Telefónica also announced the launch of ‘O2 Banking’, its mobile-only bank account, in partnership with Fidor.