The Italian ICBPI Group and Equens SE have signed an agreement on the establishment of a joint venture: Equens Italia. ICBPI and Equens will each hold 50% of the shares in the new company. ICBPI will also become shareholder of Equens SE, in addition to current ones from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Equens Italia will be operational by late 2008, with its registered offices in Milan. Michael Steinbach, in addition to his current role as chairman of Equens’ board of directors, will be appointed chairman of the board at Equens Italia. Giuseppe Capponcelli, in addition to his position as general manager of ICBPI, will be CEO of Equens Italia, and become a member of Equens’ board of directors. ICBPI Group and Equens SE say they are confident that their joint venture will decisively contribute to the efficiency of the European payment processing market. For the establishment of the joint venture, all processing activities for both cards and payments of the ICBPI Group and its subsidiaries, will be transferred to Equens Italia. In a second phase, which it is hoped will take no more than three years, Equens Italia will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Equens SE.
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