IMAP's team in Brazil advises Up group on their third acquisition in Brazil in less than a year in the prepaid benefit cards market

Client Background & Objective

​Up group (formerly Groupe Chèque Déjeuner), is an international and independent group that belongs to its employees. It sells unbanked products and services (checks, cards, mobile applications, web applications, etc.) to not only facilitate access to food, culture, leisure, education, help in the home, and social aid, but also to support companies in managing their business expenses or developing incentive and loyalty programs.

The group is present in the daily lives of over 27 million people in 17 countries, has more than 2,300 employees and had an issue volume of €5.7 billion in 2014.

Already established in Europe, Up group was looking to become one of the main benefit card issuers in Brazil in order to broaden its global footprint and Latin American operations.​

IMAP Advantage & Approach

​In 2014, Brasilpar was selected to lead the search and negotiation process for potential acquisitions in Brazil. The project was led by Brasilpar's partners Tom Waslander, Luiz Roberto Carvalho Pereira and Luiz Eduardo Costa. Brasilpar's extensive knowledge of the Brazilian M&A market was crucial for refining the acquisition strategy, focused on finding target companies that could be easily integrated into Up group's international operations and business model.

Brasilpar embarked on a national search process, looking for companies that met specific criteria, including strategic geographic positioning and significant market share. This initial screening resulted in a list of 15-20 potential targets, including Planvale, Vale Mais and Policard, leaders in the state of São Paulo, Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais, respectively.

The unique relationship and consistent alignment between Brasilpar/IMAP and Up group has been a vital element for their mutual success.

Outcome & Impact

​Brasilpar leveraged its team of experts to demonstrate to each target the benefits of being acquired by a reputable company and address concerns about the impact of a deal on their business legacy. Thanks to Brasilpar's committed involvement, Up group was able to acquire Planvale and Vale Mais and subsequently merge its new Brazilian operations with Policard in less than a year (May 2015 – April 2016).

Brasilpar's familiarity with industry dynamics and years of experience interacting with players and negotiating deals in Brazil was crucial for the success of these three transactions.

Brasilpar's involvement throughout the process led Up group to successfully complete three transactions in a very short period of time. After these transactions, Up group is better positioned to grow in Latin America and to remain in a leading position in the Brazilian market. These acquisitions and merger helped Up group to ensure its position as the fourth card issuer in Brazil with an estimated 5% of market share.​


​Catherine Coupet, President and CEO of Up group​ commented: ​"We are very pleased with this operation. The acquisition of Policard was our third in eight months in Brazil. It reflects the strong momentum of our group and its ability to rapidly implement its strategic decisions, in accordance with the Up 2018 plan."​


Tom Waslander
+55 1137094273