(Updated with analyst comments, context)
Shares of payments specialist Worldline WLN.PA climb on the Paris Stock Exchange on Friday after Bloomberg reported that Crédit Agricole
CAGR.PA was considering taking a stake in its capital.
Worldline shares advanced 5.4% at 1:25 p.m. GMT, after climbing more than 11%. Crédit Agricole increased slightly at the same time (+0.11%) while the CAC 40 .FCHI gained 0.23%.
The French bank would consider taking a stake in Worldline in order to support its partner in difficulty due to the deterioration of the economic situation, Bloomberg reported, citing sources close to the matter.
The two groups announced in April the opening of exclusive negotiations with a view to creating a joint venture specializing in payment services for merchants in France. A binding agreement was signed in July.
“There is too little information to assess the potential impact (of a stake) on Worldline’s activities, (…) but Crédit Agricole has already taken stakes in its joint venture partners – sometimes for strategic, sometimes for investment purposes”, recalls Hannes Leitner, analyst at Jefferies.
He believes that if the investment is strategic in nature, Crédit Agricole could take a seat on the board and further monitor Worldline’s activities to align them with its interests.
Worldline shares have lost more than 58% of their value since the start of the year. In particular, it fell by 59% on the single day of October 25 after a profit warning and the announcement of a cost reduction plan in the face of the deterioration of the economic situation.
(Written by Corentin Chappron, with Piotr Lipinski and Gaëlle Sheehan; edited by Kate Entringer and Blandine Hénault)