March 2020
Majority sale to
Financial advisor to the shareholders of Borgun

Deal Team


Sæmundur Sæmundsson (CEO)
Davíð Þór Jónsson (CFO)


Birna Einarsdóttir (CEO)
Jon Gudni Omarsson (CFO)
Snæbjörn Sigurðsson (Investment Manager)
Ellert Hlöðversson (Director Corporate Finance)

Borgun Holding Company slf.:

Magnus Magnusson


Ali Mazanderani
Eduardo Pontes

Corestar Partners:

Milan Bartik
Clemens Hisch

Transaction Summary

  • With an agreement signed on 11 March 2020, Íslandsbanki has sold 63.5% of its holding in Borgun hf. to Salt Pay Co Ltd. Concurrent with the sale, Salt Pay Co. is also purchasing the holding owned by Borgun Holding Company slf. Following these two transactions, Salt Pay Co. will own 95.9% of shares in Borgun
  • The transactions are subject to Financial Supervisory Authority approval of the purchaser’s acquisition of a qualifying holding. From today until the delivery date, Íslandsbanki will recognise Borgun as “assets held for sale” in its financial statements
  • The formal sale process began early in 2019, as was announced by Íslandsbanki on 11 January 2019

Overview of Borgun

  • Established in 1980, Borgun hf. issued the first credit cards in Iceland
  • The company currently employs a staff of just over 130 encompassing three functions: credit card issuance for Íslandsbanki and Aur; acquiring, which takes place in six countries (Iceland, the United Kingdom, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Croatia); and lending, including loans for goods and services purchases through a number of merchants

Overview of Salt

  • Salt is a global payments company which currently serves merchants and consumers across fourteen countries. Amongst its products and services are market leading loyalty and CRM solutions which compliment Borgun’s existing offering
  • Subsequent to the transaction, Salt’s chairman will be Ali Mazanderani. Mr. Mazanderani has extensive international experience in the payments and financial technology industry. He is currently a non-executive director of StoneCo (Nasdaq listed) and Network International (FTSE listed). He also has substantial experience in Iceland and serves as an independent board member for the Creditinfo Group

Overview of Íslandsbanki

  • A leader in financial services in Iceland, Íslandsbanki is a universal bank with total assets of ISK 1,199bn, a total capital ratio of 22.4% and a 25-40% market share across all domestic business segments at year-end 2019
  • Íslandsbanki’s purpose is to move Iceland forward by empowering our customers to succeed. Driven by the vision to be #1 for service, Íslandsbanki’s relationship banking business model is propelled by three business divisions that manage and build relationships with the Bank’s customers
  • Íslandsbanki has a BBB+/A-2 rating from S&P Global Ratings

Corestar Partners’ Role

  • Corestar Partners, together with Íslandsbanki, designed and executed an open and transparent process to ensure the best possible outcome for Borgun’s shareholders and the company
  • Corestar Partners played a key role in finding the new partner with the right expertise, financial and operational strength to enhance Borgun’s product offering and accelerate its European expansion
  • This transaction underlines Corestar Partners’ #1 position as Europe’s undisputed M&A advisory market leader in the payment service sector and furthermore highlights Corestar Partners leading position in European Fintech M&A