Bango strengthens position as leading global payments platform

Mills & Reeve advises Bango plc on the acquisition of Docomo Digital - the global payments business of NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s largest telecommunications company.

In August 2022, Bango completed the acquisition of DOCOMO Digital Limited from NTT DOCOMO, cementing its position as a leading global platform for data driven commerce. NTT DOCOMO is Japan’s largest telecommunications company and the world’s largest provider of direct carrier billing by value. The deal has added a further 2 billion users worldwide to the Bango footprint and will generate an additional $3.5b through this larger footprint.

As a result of the acquisition, Bango has widened its customer base to include leading telcos such as Telefonica O2, America Movil, Optus, Singtel Group and Deutsche Telecom.

DOCOMO Digital’s complementary merchant and operator customer base will also enable Bango to scale up and strengthen its position as a leading payment platform for global merchants in over 40 countries, adding customers including Shopify, Tidal, Discovery, Paramount+.

Ryan Hawley, Mills & Reeve corporate partner, said: “The team at Mills & Reeve was delighted to advise Bango on the acquisition, which marks a real milestone in Bango’s growth. The broad international spread of DOCOMO Digital’s corporate group provided a perfect opportunity to showcase how - working with best friend firms in the Far East, South America and Europe - we could deliver advice on a range of complex matters spanning multiple jurisdictions, allowing Bango to focus on the core commercial aspects of the transaction”.

Paul Larbey, CEO at Bango, said: ”Negotiating and closing a multi-jurisdictional transaction, which involved concurrently running a share purchase agreement and a technology licensing agreement, benefited from the commercial awareness, legal know-how and close attention that the Mills & Reeve team brought to the process. They were sensitive to differences in negotiating approaches between UK and Japanese businesses, and between a high-growth tech business like Bango and a giant communications utility like NTT Docomo. This was a positive outcome for all parties and a major leap forward for Bango”.

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