Spanish lender CaixaBank, Global Payments and Erste Group Bank have signed a deal to form a payments joint venture to provide merchant acquiring and payment services in Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.

Subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the deal is scheduled to complete in the second half of fiscal 2016.

Under the deal, Global Payments and CaixaBank will pay EUR30m in cash to purchase a 51% majority stake in the venture, while Erste Group will own a 49% interest in the venture.

Global Payments CEO Jeff Sloan said: "The joint venture will allow us to significantly expand our direct distribution footprint in Europe with leading financial partners, catalyze our capabilities to service multinational customers across the common European payments area and leverage our global product and service offering to Erste Group Bank’s merchants."

CaixaBank CEO Gonzalo Gortázar said: "This joint venture will see CaixaBank fortify its international presence by harnessing two of its biggest strengths: its capacity for technological innovation, for which it has earned global renown, and collaboration with international partners such as Global Payments and Erste Group Bank."

Erste Group board member responsible for retail banking Peter Bosek said: "By joining forces with two strong expert companies in this field we will increase the focus on our acquiring business and further upgrade the quality service that we provide to merchants across Central and Eastern Europe.

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"The deal represents an important step for Erste Group in CEE and we expect it to lead to further growth in our payments business."

Erste Group Bank, based in Vienna, has a consumer banking presence with over 2,800 branches in seven countries and 16.2 million clients.