Kalixa And Millicon Team Up In Joint Venture

Bwin payment subsidiary in joint venture with telecomms and media group

Bwin.Party payment service providing subsidiary Kalixa has announced the formation of a 50-50 joint venture with Millicom, an international telecommunications and media company focused on emerging markets in Latin America and Africa.

The joint venture, which comes just three months after Kalixa acquired the PXP Solutions card payment processing business, represents a significant step in continuing to build externally generated business volume and revenue, a company spokesman said Thursday.

The JV will develop a payments service provider for Africa and Latin America, with operations scheduled to begin in Colombia and Brazil later this year, and Kalixa and Millicom each making an initial investment of $4 million and appointing two directors each to the joint venture's board.

Payment acceptance services will be offered by the joint venture for both businesses and consumers, including payment gateway and point of sale solutions for merchants as well as a one-click payment and eWallet provision for online customers. The end-to-end payment solution will offer cross-platform, multi-device services.

The venture will benefit from Millicom's existing reach across Africa and Latin America through its high-profile 'Tigo' infrastructures in 14 countries and its online partnerships in 33 countries.

Tigo provides a range of digital services including mobile communications, pay TV and platforms offering entertainment, mobile money, internet and broadband.

The joint venture will also draw on Kalixa's experience of providing a full range of payment services, including issuing, acquiring and acceptance solutions to over 8,000 merchants across 100 markets.

Ed Chandler, CEO of Kalixa, said: "This joint venture is part of our three-year plan to grow the Kalixa group and leverage its strong technology and payment processing capabilities to increase shareholder value. As developing markets, Latin America and Africa represent a combined $1.78 trillion opportunity for the payments industry."

Millicom's CEO and President, Hans-Holger Albrecht, said: "Working with Kalixa will enable us to offer a complete digital payments service in markets where ecommerce is growing rapidly and where we already have a strong presence. It is a great combination of our respective expertise."

In its initial phase, the joint venture will provide an end-to-end service for ecommerce providers. Brazil is the largest market in Latin America with around 60 percent of its ecommerce by volume and 80 percent of the continent's top 500 e-merchants are present there.

In Colombia, Millicom's largest market in Latin America, ecommerce is growing significantly at over 60 percent annually with 50 percent of internet users enjoying online shopping.

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