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Clearpay expands into Europe with acquisition

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

25 Aug 2020


Clearpay, the retail payments platform known as Afterpay in the US, Australia and New Zealand, is expanding into Spain, France and Italy with the acquisition of Pagantis.

The ‘buy now, pay later’ payments provider announced that it has entered into an agreement with NBQ Corporate SLU to acquire Pagantis SAU and PMT Technology SLU. Pagantis is a European company that offers payment services for e-commerce merchants across Spain, France, and Italy.

With this acquisition, Clearpay said in a statement that it would be able to “expedite its expansion into Europe” as well as capitalise on what it calls a “market primed for ‘buy now, pay later’ services”.

Clearpay explained that Southern Europe has an e-commerce market which exceeds 150 billion euros across Spain, Italy and France, as well as large millennial populations, a strong fashion and beauty market, and significant consumer debit card usage, meaning that there is a “strong opportunity to offer buy now, pay later services”.

The acquisition also allows the company to meet demand from existing global retail customers for Clearpay’s Buy Now, Pay Later service across their European e-commerce sites.

Commenting on the expansion into Europe, Anthony Eisen, co-founder and chief executive of Clearpay, said: “Our momentum to date has given us the confidence to expedite our expansion into new global regions. Entering into such internationally relevant markets like the US and the UK and seeing our growth outpace what we experienced in our more mature Australian market, validates the appeal of our product on a global scale.

“Acquiring Pagantis provides us with the necessary regulatory licensing, resourcing and infrastructure to expedite the launch of Clearpay into key countries in Southern Europe and beyond.”

Clearpay acquires Pagantis to expand services into Spain, France and Italy

As part of the agreement, NBQ Corporate SLU will receive a minimum of 50 million euros, with 5 million euros in cash payable at completion of the acquisition and a deferred consideration of a minimum of 45 million euros, payable three years after completion of the agreement. Deferred consideration can exceed 45 million euros, provided the equity value of Pagantis exceeds 45 million euros after three years.

The company will offer Pagantis’ buy now, pay later products under its European brand, Clearpay, and Pagantis founder and chief executive, Rolf Cederström, will continue leading the new European team. Pagantis’ existing credit products will be discontinued.

Currently, Pagantis has 1,400 active merchants and 150,000 active customers. Merchants and customers that are relevant to Clearpay EU’s launch strategy will be invited to transition onto the re-configured product upon launch. With Clearpay adding that once it receives the necessary regulatory approval it will be able to offer its products across Spain, France or Italy.

Clearpay added that the acquisition will accelerate its planned launch into the EU, which it states was the next logical step for international expansion due to buy now, pay later sector remaining nascent or non-existent in many EU countries, which it notes presents an opportunity to “capitalise on first”.

Eisen, added: “The new markets we will be entering will provide our global retailers with the opportunity to offer Clearpay in more regions and for us to provide a whole new customer base with access to our differentiated and customer-centric model.”

Expanding through acquisition is also the companies proffered model of partnering with a local market presence to de-risk global expansion, and is consistent with its success in New Zealand, the US and UK expansion strategies.

Completion of the acquisition is expected to occur in or before December 2020, and is subject to Bank of Spain regulatory approval. Clearpay is working with the Pagantis team and engaging with retailers in preparation for launch, targeted for Q3 FY21 with Clearpay commencing trading in the EU as an online-only platform with an intention to introduce in-store capability in due course.

Image: courtesy of Clearpay

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