VISA/

(Reuters)

Report: Visa in Talks to Buy Former Subsidiary Visa Europe for up to $20 Billion

Industries Reuters

Visa Inc (V) is in preliminary talks to buy former subsidiary Visa Europe Ltd, in a deal that could be valued at up to $20 billion, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

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The talks, which began when Visa approached Visa Europe, are at an early stage and could fall apart if the two sides cannot agree on a price, Bloomberg said. (http://bloom.bg/1GTU8L7)

Visa's shares were up 4 percent at $69.29 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

The range being discussed is $15 billion-$20 billion and both companies are working with advisers, Bloomberg said.

Visa said last year it might have to pay more than $10 billion to buy its London-based European licensee, Visa Europe, if the owners exercised their option to sell it.

Visa Europe, which since 2007 has operated independently of Visa, is a cooperative of more than 3,700 European banks with more than 500 million cards in circulation.

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Visa has a call option to buy shares in Visa Europe, while Visa Europe members have a put option to sell shares to Visa.

A spokeswoman for Visa declined to comment. Visa Europe was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Neha Dimri in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)