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Updated: March 2, 2021

WEX teams up with Austrian oil and gas giant to expand European footprint

WEX building exterior on a sunny day Photo / Jim Neuger WEX Inc. is a global company based in Portland, where it plans to occupy one floor of this new building at 100 Fore St. not far from its waterfront headquarters.

Financial technology service provider WEX Inc. (NYSE: WEX) on Monday unveiled an agreement with Austrian oil and gas giant OMV to expand the Portland-based company's presence in Europe.

Under the agreement, WEX will use its technology platform to manage OMV’s fuel-card program across 10 European markets in a process to be implemented over the next decade.

OMV, which is headquartered in Vienna, produces and markets oil and gas and is one of Austria's largest listed industrial companies. Its upstream operations include a strong base in Central and Eastern Europe as well as a balanced international portfolio, with the Middle East and Africa, the North Sea, Russia and Asia-Pacific as further core regions.

Downstream, OMV operates three refineries in Europe and owns 15% of ADNOC Refining and ADNOC Global Trading. The Austrian company also operates about 2,100 filling stations in 10 European countries where retail customers use fuel cards issued by OMV.

Through an international network alliance with various large companies including Italy's Eni SpA and UK-based BP, OMV is part of one of Europe's biggest fueling networks known as ROUTEX.

The ROUTEX network has common card processing and security standards across Europe that enable participating member card programs to work at fueling locations across the network. WEX said that its technology will process ROUTEX transactions on behalf of OMV associated with that network.

“We’re thrilled OMV selected our technology to power its fuel card program,” said Brian Fournier, senior vice president and general manager of global partners at WEX, in Monday's news release.

“Expanding our presence in Europe is a strategic focus for WEX as we continue our investment in forming strategic partnerships like the one with OMV."

The announcement comes less than a week after WEX posted a 9% drop in fourth-quarter revenue, impacted by lower average fuel prices as well as foreign exchange rates.

WEX Chair and CEO Melissa Smith also told Mainebiz last week that two recently completed acquisitions position the company for "some really great long-term growth" despite short-term volatility in the travel market.

"It's something that will be really good for our customers and shareholders," she said. 

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