Payment service provider MasterCard Inc on Thursday said it will acquire European rival DataCash Group Plc for USD 520 million in an effort to expand its e-commerce business.

Credit and debit-card processing network company MasterCard will buy DataCash at 360 pence a share, aggregating to USD 520 million, it said in a statement issued here.

“E-commerce represents an important part of MasterCard’s growth strategy and this acquisition will allow us to provide new services to our acquiring customers, as well as drive increased e-commerce penetration in both existing and new markets,” said MasterCard President and Chief Executive Officer Ajay Banga.

Banga further said, “The acquisition of DataCash will expand our already significant e-commerce merchant gateway presence in Asia and Australia to European countries and other high-growth, emerging markets worldwide.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of October, subject to regulatory approvals.

DataCash, which employs 362 people worldwide and operates in London, Dublin, Mannheim and Cape Town, gives merchants the ability to process payments securely online.

For the year ended December 31, the European firm reported revenue of 36.9 million pounds.

MasterCard expects the transaction to dilute its fourth quarter 2010 earnings per share by about USD 0.05 due to amortisation and one-time transaction costs.

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