PayPal snaps up Swedish rival iZettle for this much

PayPal checks out with iZettle in $2.2bn deal

US-based PayPal, a unit of eBay, said that its biggest acquisition to date would strengthen its platform for handling payment transactions at small businesses, particularly in Europe and Latin America.

Founded in Stockholm in 2010, iZettle started out selling credit and debit card readers that could be plugged into smart phones and tablets. PayPal also gains near-term in-store expansion opportunities into other existing PayPal markets, and acceleration of omnichannel commerce solutions in Australia, U.K. and U.S.

Jacob de Geer, iZettle's founder, will continue to lead the company after the deal is finalised, which is expected to happen in the third quarter of 2018.

The deal is the largest acquisition in PayPal's history. "Combined with the iZettle brand, capabilities and talent this means we're ready to level the playing field for small businesses all around the world". A merger would catapult PayPal into hundreds of thousands of brick-and-mortar storefronts globally in an effort to bring its digital payments tool into physical retailers and compete with companies, like Square.

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In an interview with Bloomberg, de Geer said that he changed his mind regarding an IPO after meeting with the executive team at PayPal.

The deal happened just before iZettle was set to go public on Nasdaq Stockholm. "With almost half a million merchants on their platform, Jacob de Geer and his team add best-in-class capabilities and talent that will expand PayPal's market opportunity to be a global one-stop solution for omnichannel commerce". This is not the first time PayPal acquires startups with brilliant tech, but in this case, iZettle would have become a potential rival, had it raised enough funds via IPO. The company has grown its revenues at a CAGR of approximately 60% from 2015 to 2017. iZettle expects to reach EBITDA profitability by 2020 on a standalone basis.

The transaction, which is expected to be Dollars 0.01 dilutive to PayPal full year adjusted earnings per share, is subject to the usual closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

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