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Banco Popular and EVO Agree to Form Merchant Acquiring Joint Venture in Spain

MADRID and NEW YORK, Dec. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Banco Popular has reached an agreement with EVO Payments International, one of the largest merchant acquirers in the United States, to form a joint venture to provide merchant acquiring services to the Spanish market.  Under the proposed transaction, EVO Payments International will acquire a controlling interest in Banco Popular's merchant acquiring business in Spain.  In addition, the Bank and EVO will enter a ten year marketing alliance in which the Bank will exclusively refer its merchant customers to the joint venture for merchant acquiring services, as well as provide card network sponsorship.  The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed by the end of the first half of 2013.  The proposed joint venture is valued at over €70 million.

Banco Popular currently services nearly 150,000 merchants via approximately 2,500 branches and commercial banking network representing approximately a 10% market share in Spain.  Banco Popular remains committed to enhancing and specializing its product offering to its corporate and SME customers and merchants.  The arrangement with EVO will provide for the introduction of innovative products and services to Banco Popular's existing and future merchant customers in Spain.

The arrangement is in line with Banco Popular's strategic objective of establishing long-term alliances with premier global companies.  The merchant acquiring joint venture will allow the Bank to leverage EVO's expertise and economies of scale, while both organizations jointly focus on developing the business and providing leading edge products and services via the Bank's branch network.

James G. Kelly, CEO of EVO Payments International, said, "We are very excited to be partnering with Banco Popular, a market leading financial institution.  This joint venture fits very well with our strategic objective of expanding our global reach as we introduce our proven sales and related solutions in support of our valued partners."

Banco Popular's General Manager, Angel Rivera, said, "As part of our current business plan, we are very pleased to have forged a long-term alliance with a leading specialist player in the merchant acquiring space. This is not the first time we have built a strategic alliance in banking businesses, and it will not be the last. We have done it before, with Alliance or Credit Mutuel, and we will continue to associate with prominent partners such as EVO Payments."

About Banco Popular
Banco Popular, with more than 8 million clients worldwide, is the fifth largest banking group in Spain in terms of asset and client deposits (€161.1 billion). It is also one of the largest banks in Europe with retail and commercial banking status. Retail banking represents 82% of the Bank's pre-provisioning profit with corporates, SMEs and independent professionals accounting for 77%. With over 18,000 employees, the Bank operates more than 2,500 branches in Spain and around 250 branches abroad.

About EVO Payments International
EVO Payments International is a leading privately-held payments processor and acquirer for merchants, independent sales organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government organizations, and multinational corporations located throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.  EVO offers an industry-leading array of secure, innovative products and solutions that support the growth of its highly valued customers and their businesses.  Visit www.goevo.com for more information about the company and its services.

SOURCE EVO Payments International

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