London court rules on dispute between JP Morgan and Viva

Wall Street bank JP Morgan and Greek fintech boss Haris Karonis both claimed success on Thursday in a London court battle over how to value a joint business, paving the way for its potential sale.

Karonis’ Ltd (WRL), the majority owner of Athens-based Viva Wallet, has accused JP Morgan of trying to hamper the growth of the payments platform and both sides sued each other in London.

But a London judge dismissed suggestions that JP Morgan had any incentive to depress Viva’s value and set out how the business should be valued, a judgment published on Thursday showed. The US bank bought a 48.5% stake in Viva Wallet, which is used by businesses in Southern Europe, for about $800 million in 2022. WRL owns 51.49%. Under the terms of the deal, WRL loses its right to reject any JP Morgan offer to take control of Viva if the business is valued at below 5 billion euros by July 30, 2025.

“As the founder of this business, I am thrilled that Viva will now be properly valued on the basis of its growth strategy in the US, reflecting its fair market value,” Karonis said in a statement. JP Morgan said it remained committed to developing and expanding Viva in partnership with WRL, adding that the judgment was a “great outcome.”