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Paylife Spins Off ATM Unit to Prepare Credit Card Sale

June 25 (Bloomberg) -- PayLife Bank GmbH said it’s spinning off its ATM unit to prepare a sale of its credit card business by some of the Austrian banks that own it.

PayLife, owned by lenders including UniCredit Bank Austria AG, Bawag PSK Bank AG, Erste Group Bank AG and Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG, is carving out PSA Payment Services Austria GmbH, which issues ATM cards and runs the ATM system in Austria, as a separate company, PayLife said on its website today. While PSA isn’t for sale, “several” of the company’s owners want to sell their stakes in PayLife’s main business, issuing Visa and Mastercard credit cards in the Alpine country, it said.

PayLife authorized Erste and Bank Austria to seek a buyer for the Austrian credit card company, Die Presse reported March 22. PayLife may sell for 250 million euros ($312 million) to 400 million euros, the Vienna-based paper said at the time.

Bank Austria owns 24 percent, Bawag 20.7 percent, Erste 20.5 percent, Raiffeisen 12.8 percent and Volksbanken 8.3 percent, according to PayLife’s website. Erste is interested in selling, spokeswoman Karin Berger said in an e-mail today. Raiffeisen is reviewing all options, according to spokesman Andreas Ecker-Nakamura. Bank Austria spokesman Martin Halama declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Boris Groendahl in Vienna at bgroendahl@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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