Visa Europe is joining in the sponsorship of the Formula E electric auto racing. The company joins the ranks of DHL, Michelin, watch maker TAG Heuer and Julius Bär, a Swiss private bank in the sponsorship of Formula E. Visa Europe’s jump into Formula E sponsorship comes amid widespread speculations that the company is in merger talks with the U.S. counterpart Visa Inc (NYSE:V).
Given its participation in Formula E auto racing as a sponsor, Visa Europe will have its logo on the cars and also get featured on trackside banners. Additionally, the company will also become the official payment provider for Formula E.
The Formula E is the first all-electric auto racing series and features cars that boast 300 horsepower of electric motor. Interest in Formula E has surged following successful first race in September 2014. The racing happens on tracks in cities that include Miami, Long Beach and London. The finale is expected to be hosted in June.
The Formula E features 10 teams that are owned by the likes of Dragon Racing, Andretti Autosport, Virgin Group, Audi and Alain Post, a former F1 champion among others.
Discovery Communications and Liberty Global are some of the largest shareholders in Formula E, an auto racing series that continue to grow in fame and attract prominent investors and sponsors.
Meanwhile, there are widespread speculations that Visa Inc (NYSE:V) and Visa Europe are exploring a merge in a transaction that could reach $20 billion. It is further reported that the two entities are in the early stages of negotiations and that both have retained advisers to look into the merger transaction.
Some sources have hinted that the final value of the deal could be in the range of $15-$20 billion, although none of the companies could confirm nor deny that they are in merger talks.
Visa Inc (NYSE:V) parted ways in 2007 Visa Europe when the latter went public in the U.S., with Visa Europe remaining in the hands of some 3,000 European banks are owners. Visa Europe is doing well in business, processing 16 billion transactions in 2014 alone and bringing in $246 million in earnings in the year, representing 29% uptick from the previous year. Currently, Visa Europe, now one of the Formula E sponsors, manages over 500 million accounts.