Visa to buy PlaySpan for $190 million

NEW YORK Wed Feb 9, 2011 9:59am EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Visa Inc (V.N), the world's largest credit and debit card processing network, will buy the online payments company PlaySpan Inc for $190 million, continuing to expand its e-commerce and mobile payments businesses.

The cash deal will also include "additional consideration for performance milestones," Visa said on Wednesday. It is expected to be completed in Visa's second fiscal quarter of 2011, and will be "slightly dilutive" to the company's full-year earnings per share.

Visa, like smaller rival MasterCard Inc (MA.N), is increasingly looking online and to new payment processing technology like mobile phone payments for growth. The companies are facing a saturated U.S. market, where most consumers already use credit and debit cards instead of cash, and increasing regulation of their traditional businesses.

The deal is Visa's second such acquisition in the past year, following its July purchase of the online payment processing company CyberSource.

Privately-held PlaySpan processes transactions for online games and virtual goods sold on social networking websites. It is based in Santa Clara, California, and backed by several venture funds, including Easton Capital, Menlo Ventures, TimeWarner Investments, Vodafone Ventures and GE Asset Management.

Visa shares were down 0.6 percent at $73.97 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Maria Aspan, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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