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Payments group Ingenico to buy rival Bambora for 1.5 bln euros

PARIS, July 20 (Reuters) - French payments specialist Ingenico is to buy rival Bambora from Nordic Capital for 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion), in the latest takeover deal to sweep the payments sector.

The acquisition of Stockholm-headquartered Bambora, which had gross revenues of 202 million euros in 2016, would lift Ingenico's earnings and lead to synergies, Ingenico said in a statement on Thursday.

"Coupled with the investments made in our platforms and the development of new technological features, Bambora will enhance our customer centric approach and will reinforce our online and in-store positioning through a perfect complementarity," said Ingenico Chairman and Chief Executive Philippe Lazare.

Ingenico's takeover of Bambora follows a similar move this month by credit card processor Vantiv to buy Worldpay for 7.7 billion pounds ($10 billion).

Payments companies have become targets for credit card companies and banks seeking to capitalise on a switch from cash transactions to paying by smartphone or other mobile devices. ($1 = 0.8688 euros) ($1 = 0.7679 pounds) (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)