Linklaters advises as Wirecard buys Great Indian Retail Group payments business

Linklaters has advised on the sale of the payments business of Great Indian (GI) Retail Group to Wirecard AG, the German payments company. Founded in 2006, GI Retail Group is one of India’s and South East Asia’s leading electronic payment and retail-assisted e-commerce groups.

Wirecard will acquire 100 percent of the shares from GI Retail and financial investors of companies operating payment services in India, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia and includes the iCashcard, Smartshop, StarGlobal and Commerce Payment brands. iCashcard is India’s number one domestic remittance instrument and the leading payment instrument on IRCTC, Indian Railways’ website and one of the largest e-commerce sites in Asia-Pacific.

Wirecard will also acquire 60 percent of the shares in GI Technology Private Limited (GIT), a licensed Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) issuer in India. Wirecard will take over more than 900 staff in offices in Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Manila, Batam and Kuala Lumpur.

Hugo Stolkin, Corporate partner at Linklaters, says “Against the backdrop of India’s thriving e-commerce industry, domestic remittance options are improving with the advent of cost-effective alternatives to traditional informal channels. All of this activity helps to further push the attractiveness of India’s dynamic market to foreign investors.”

The Linklaters team was led by Corporate partner Hugo Stolkin (Singapore) and Corporate managing associate Adam Rogowski and included Corporate partner Savi Hebbur (London).

Talwar Thakore & Associates, Linklaters’ best-friend firm in India, also advised, led by Corporate partner Kunal Thakore.