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Innova Capital acquires Romania’s PayPoint with EBRD backing

By Olga Rosca

Payments provider PayPoint is supporting Romania’s transition to a cash-free economy.

  • EBRD provides acquisition finance to help grow a leading payments provider in Romania
  • Fresh boost for digitalisation as PayPoint set to expand Romanian digital services
  • Romania progressively evolving into a cash-free economy

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has arranged a loan of €25 million to finance private equity firm Innova Capital’s acquisition of PayPoint SRL, a payment services operator in Romania. A €6 million tranche of the loan was syndicated to a local commercial lender.

PayPoint has been operating in Romania since 2007 as a subsidiary of a UK-based network of the same name, collecting 'over-the-counter' bill payments. It is working with local retailers in around 19,000 sites to enable customers to make cash bill payments, money transfers, road-tax payments and mobile phone top-ups.

The new owner, Innova Capital, a reputable Polish private equity firm that invests in majority buyouts of mid-sized enterprises in central and eastern Europe, is planning to expand PayPoint in Romania and focus on digitalising the company’s consumer payment services.

Dirk Werner, EBRD Director for Telecommunications, Media and Technology, said: “Romania is progressively evolving from a cash-based economy to the enhanced use of electronic payments infrastructure. PayPoint will promote this transition with the launch of new electronic services that provide additional value to consumers and merchants. As a large lender and arranger of the transaction, the EBRD is pleased to provide financial backing to this leading fintech company in Romania.”

Krzysztof Kulig, Senior Partner at Innova Capital, said: “We are pleased to conclude the purchase of PayPoint Romania, a trusted payments operator and a market leader. Our goal is now to bring our sector experience to help it expand into new services that will bring an even higher level of customer satisfaction to its clients ‒ retailers, consumers and utility providers. We look forward to working with its management team to continue the company’s growth journey.”

Since its inception in 1994, Innova Capital has invested close to €1 billion in almost 60 companies in 10 countries in central and eastern Europe. Innova was recognised by the Polish Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (PSIK) as Private Equity Management Firm of the Year 2019.

The EBRD is a major investor in Romania and focuses on financing infrastructure, boosting productivity and strengthening the financial sector. To date, the Bank has invested €8.8 billion in the Romanian economy through 463 projects.

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