Irish financial services firm Fintrax to acquire Planet Payment

Planet Payment provides payment processing and multi-currency solutions globally

Galway-headquartered financial services company Fintrax is to acquire international payment processing firm Planet Payment.

Founded in 1985, Fintrax is one of the world’s biggest players in processing tourist VAT refunds. The parent company of Premier Tax Free, it also provides multicurrency conversion solutions.

The company, which has doubled in size to over 800 employees worldwide over the last four years, said it had entered a definitive agreement to buy Planet Payment for $4.50 per share in cash.

Planet Payment, which is headquartered in New York, provides payment processing and multi-currency solutions to 71 financial services institutions around the world. Its services are used at 103,000 active merchant locations in 23 countries.

"The acquisition of Planet Payment will expand our ability to serve global customers, particularly in the US, Canada, the Middle East, Latin America, China and South East Asia, " said Fintrax chief executive Patrick Waldron.

Fintrax, which operates in 34 markets worldwide, serves 14,000 retail merchants in over 150,000 stores. In Ireland it is in 5,750 outlets including Brown Thomas, Arnotts and Weirs.

The company, whose largest shareholder Eurazeo invested €550 million in 2015 for a 90 per cent stake, said it is expecting revenues of up to €260 million in 2017, up from €225 million the previous year.

Earlier this year it announced a new joint venture with South Korean conglomerate the Lotte Group to tap into the country's booming tax refund market, which has grown tenfold since 2010.