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Payments M&A in 2023 amounts to a whimper

Payments Dive

Spurts of merger and acquisition activity in payments last year could only do so much to prop up 2023’s deal count, amid a dismal year for M&A more broadly.

Still, some large purchases last year boosted payments deal value.

Payments consulting firm The Strawhecker Group put the global count at 72 M&A deals last year, down 36% from 113 in 2022. Of the 72 deals tallied last year, 58 involved a U.S. company as either acquirer, target, or both, said Sam Wares, TSG’s director of client success.

Not all deals disclosed terms, but the value of global deals where transaction information was provided amounted to $17.3 billion, Wares said. That was a 36% drop over 2022’s $27.2 billion figure from TSG.

Of the $17.3 billion deal value total, transactions involving U.S. companies last year totaled $16 billion, according to data provided by Wares. TSG’s M&A count includes any deal where a payments company was the buyer or a payments company was purchased.

The average value of the global deals was $754 million, he said. Large deals that increased the average value included the Nuvei-Paya deal for $1.3 billion in early 2023, when the industry saw a spate of transactions, and GTCR’s acquisition of FIS’s Worldpay, announced in July, for $12.7 billion.

Other big acquisitions in the industry last year included Visa’s $1 billion purchase of Brazilian company Pismo; Marqeta’s acquisition of fintech Power Finance for $275 million; and Wex acquiring a unit of Ascensus for $180 million.

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