US-based multinational asset management firm Blackstone is planning to acquire Israeli credit card company Isracard at a $810m valuation.
Isracard, was formed in 1975 by Bank Hapoalim, led by Yaakov Levinson, has three main operating segments: financing activity, debit card issuance and clearing.
It provides full discount and clearing services to the four debit card brands – Isracard, MasterCard, American Express and Visa.
As of 2019, Isracard’s customers hold about four million active debit cards and 160,000 points of sale.
Bank Hapoalim, which holds a 33% stake in Isracard, sold the remaining shares in an initial public offering in 2019.
Bank Hapoalim and Leumi were both ordered by the Israel Government to sell their credit card units to promote more competition in consumer lending.
Leumi divested its entire Leumi Card unit, since renamed Max, to a group led by the US private equity fund Warburg Pincus. Blackstone had reportedly shown interested in acquiring Leumi Card.
Blackstone’s asset management businesses, with $554bn in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds.
In November 2019, funds managed by Blackstone agreed to take a majority stake in MagicLab, which builds and operates dating and social networking apps, including Bumble and Badoo. The transaction values the company at about $3bn.