Capital One Is Buying Discover In A $35.3 Billion Deal

Capital One is acquiring Discover Financial Services in a $35.3 billion deal. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP/File)

By Elisabeth Buchwald, CNN

New York (CNN) — Capital One announced it’s acquiring Discover Financial Services for $35.3 billion in an all-stock deal, giving the bank a leg up in the competitive credit card market.

Under the terms of the deal announced Monday evening, Discover (DFS) shareholders will receive a little over one share of Capital One (COF) for every Discover share they own. That represents an almost 27% premium from Discover’s closing share price of $110.49 on Friday.

If the deal is finalized, current Capital One shareholders will own a 60% stake in the combined company, while Discover shareholders will own the remaining 40%.

Capital One said it believes the deal will close in late 2024 or early 2025.

With a market valuation of almost $28 billion, Discover is considerably smaller than the other three major credit card networks in the US — Visa (V), Mastercard (MA) and American Express (AXP). Credit card networks are the liaison between card issuers and merchants, for whom they set fees.

Getting Discover, which also issues its own credit cards, under the same roof as Capital One would give the bank a major leg up against competing credit card-issuing banks such as JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C), which don’t process transactions themselves.

Richard Fairbank, the founder and CEO of Capital One, said in the Monday announcement that the deal would “build a payments network that can compete with the largest payments networks and payments companies.”

A marriage between Capital One and Discover, if approved by regulators, would also give Capital One a new source of revenue from the merchant fees it collects.

Currently, Capital One issues credit cards with Mastercard, Visa and Discover. The deal would likely result in more of its cards getting switched to the Discover network, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Monday before the deal was officially announced.

The companies are hosting a joint conference call Tuesday morning at 8:00 am ET.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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