PayPal agrees to buy Sweden's iZettle in $2.2 billion deal

(Reuters) – PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O) has agreed to acquire iZettle, one of Europe’s best known financial technology startups, for $2.2 billion, the companies said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: The PayPal logo is seen at a high-tech park in Beersheba, southern Israel August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

The deal will enable PayPal to expand its presence in in-store payments globally, and will mark the largest-ever acquisition by the San Jose, California- based company.

iZettle is best known for offering small businesses a mini credit card reader that can turn smartphones and tablets into payment registers, akin to that offered by U.S.-based Square Inc (SQ.N), the company founded by Twitter (TWTR.N) Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey.

A logo of the iZettle company is pictured in the headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, August 12, 2016. Picture taken August 12, 2016. REUTERS/Violette Goarant

Stockholm-based iZettle is present in 11 countries and offers other services for small businesses such as lending. It had advanced plans to go public.

By joining forces with PayPal, which operates in 200 countries, iZettle will be able to accelerate its international expansion, including to the U.S., the companies said.

Since separating from online marketplace eBay (EBAY.O) in 2015, PayPal has reshaped itself from mostly processing transactions for its parent company online to offering a suite of digital payment services across the world.

These range from lending to small businesses, to facilitating money transfers between merchants and customers as well as friends and family.

Under the leadership of CEO Dan Schulman, the company has been expanding aggressively through acquisitions and partnerships with large banks and technology firms including Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Facebook Inc (FB.O).

The deal will also help PayPal provide a more comprehensive suite of services to its merchants.

iZettle CEO Jacob de Greer and the company’s management team will continue to lead the business, which expects to process $6 billion in payments in 2018 and have gross revenues of $165 million.

Reporting by Anna Irrera in New York and Parikshit Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Chris Reese

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