Emerchants Acquires Store Financial UK Arm for $21.7 Million (Sept. 29, 2014)
Australian prepaid provider Emerchants Ltd. has made a bold move into the European market, acquiring Store Financial Services UK (SFUK) for AUS$24.9 million (US$21.7 million). SFUK is Europe’s largest provider of shopping mall gift cards, operating 100 such programs across nine European markets, including the U.K. Overland Park, Kan.-based Store Financial Services, which held a significant ownership position in SFUK, will become a shareholder in Emerchants, once the deal closes, and will continue to provide processing services to the combined organization.
The acquisition gives Emerchants a significant foothold in a European prepaid market that is 10 times the size of Australia’s and is projected to grown to more than €150 billion (US$190.5 billion) by 2017, according to Emerchants’ estimate. Emerchants and SFUK will look to offer Emerchants’ reloadable products into the European market. The deal also enables Emerchants to benefit from the long-term contracts and predictable, recurring revenues of a shopping mall prepaid model, compared to the company’s existing single load prepaid cards for consumer rebate programs, Emerchants said. And, SFUK’s existing banking, regulatory and operational relationships in Europe will “significantly accelerate market entry,” noted Emerchants.
Under terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in November of this year, SFUK founder and CEO David Shewmaker will remain with the business for at least three years.
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