Capital One-Discover merger may 'pose some risks' to Mastercard and Visa - Mizuho

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Capital One-Discover merger may 'pose some risks' to Mastercard and Visa - Mizuho
Credit: © Reuters.

Capital One (COF) announced Monday its plan to acquire Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS ) for over $35 billion, combining two of the biggest credit card firms in the U.S. in an all-stock transaction.

Discover shareholders will get 1.0192 shares of Capital One for each of their shares, a 27% premium over Discover's last closing price, with the resulting entity to be 60% owned by Capital One shareholders and 40% by Discover's.

Mizuho Securities analysts believe the merger “could potentially pose some risks” to Visa Inc (NYSE: V ) and Mastercard ( MA ), given that Capital One “is the third largest issuer of V & MA credit cards in the US, accounting for ~10% of US credit volumes.”

“COF could seek to steer some card volumes to DFS's rails to potentially save on network fees,” analysts added.

Capital One also has the opportunity to capitalize on higher interchange fees by utilizing Discover Financial Services' debit network, where a notable 98% of transactions are exempt from regulation (in contrast to 51% at Mastercard and 35% at Visa), with DFS averaging an interchange fee of approximately 1.41% on these unregulated debit transactions.

Shares of MA and V fell 1.6% and 1.5% in premarket trading, respectively.

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