dealwatch keeps track of the
mergers and acquisitions taking place in the global payment
industry, and this month it looks like many of the deals going on
at the moment are joint ventures between larger payments players,
while private equity firms dominate the M&A arena.


Since the last Dealwatch in
January, there has again been very little activity in terms of
mergers and acquisitions in the cards and payments sphere. Much of
the attention and energy for those involved in payments seems to be
focused more towards alliances and joint ventures, specifically in
the Middle East, Asia and Central and Eastern Europe.

The most significant deal is the
acquisition of the European consumer payments acceptance network
Payzone by UK private equity firm Duke Street. The deal, which
takes the payments network into private hands, became necessary as
the company was revealed to be in difficulties in mid-2009, despite
attempts at cost-cutting and restructuring, including the sale of
European payments divisions.

A slightly more unusual deal, given current attitude towards
phasing out cash and cheques altogether, is the reanimation of
Burroughs Payment Systems, a US cheque and cash automation
equipment business. Featuring another private equity firm, US-based
Marlin Equity, the deal should allow for significant growth in the
US and also France, where the company name has been used for many