News 2012

  • Smartpay to Acquire Large EFTPOS Terminal Business - Wednesday, December 12, 2012
  • Smartpay Interim Result Announcement - Thursday, November 29, 2012 
  • Smartpay Shareholder Share Purchase Plan Completed - Thursday, August 23, 2012
  • Smartpay Announces 31 March 2012 Final Results and Imminent Completion of Major Recapitalisation and Restructure Following Recent Appointment of New Chief Executive - Wednesday, May 30, 2012
  • Smartpay Revises Earnings Guidance - NZ Market Weaker than Expected - Monday, February 20, 2012
  • Smartpay Announces Management Changes, Recapitalisation Plan and Strategy Update - Monday, February 20, 2012
  • Smartpay Signs Major Strategic Contract in Australia - Monday, February 20, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
 

Smartpay to Acquire Large EFTPOS Terminal Business 

 

  • Smartpay to acquire large EFTPOS terminal business to become market leader
  • $3.7m of new equity raised from institutional and sophisticated investors
  • ASX listing process well progressed, timeline extended due to acquisition


Smartpay a leading provider of payments and transactional solutions in New Zealand and Australia, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the business and assets of Viaduct Limited, a leading provider of EFTPOS terminals and solutions in New Zealand.
 

About Viaduct

Viaduct operates a large well established EFTPOS terminal fleet and is one of the largest EFTPOS providers in New Zealand. The company was founded eight years ago by its two Directors and majority shareholders Mark Unwin and Marty Pomeroy. The Company is based in Wellington and employs 30 staff. Following the acquisition Smartpay will become the owner and operator of the largest EFTPOS terminal fleet in New Zealand both in terms of the number of terminals and the number of merchants we service.

Managing Director of Smartpay, Bradley Gerdis said today "Just 12 months ago we set a strategic vision for our New Zealand business to become New Zealand's leading EFTPOS and payments business. Our emphasis in the New Zealand market is to strongly grow our EFTPOS position and to deliver innovative and competitive services via an established retail footprint.

"By combining Viaduct with our existing business we are confident Smartpay will create a leading competitive force in the New Zealand payments industry. Our increased scale will enhance our ability to deliver advanced functionality and competitive products and services to the New Zealand marketplace and beyond. These developments combined with our growth potential into Australia mean we are very positive about Smartpay's future."

The purchase price of $16.3m will be settled in cash of $14m and $2.3m of Smartpay shares to be issued to the vendors at $0.15 each. The cash component of the purchase price will be funded through a mixture of internal cash reserves, additional bank debt and a placement of $3.7m of new equity also issued at $0.15. The acquisition is expected to contribute around $6m of revenue and around $3m of EBITDA to Smartpay on an annualised basis. Final completion and settlement of the transaction is expected around late January 2013.
 

Viaduct Founders to Join Smartpay

Pursuant to the deal, the two Founders and majority shareholders of Viaduct, Marty Pomeroy and Mark Unwin will join Smartpay in senior executive roles and will be responsible for the ongoing management and development of Smartpay's New Zealand EFTPOS business.

Bradley Gerdis commented "We are extremely pleased to retain the skills of Mark and Marty. They have demonstrated their leadership and experience in the New Zealand EFTPOS industry through building Viaduct to its current position as a formidable player in the market".

Mark Unwin commented "We are extremely excited about the opportunities resulting from the combination of these two market leading businesses. A particular attraction to us of combining our business with Smartpay was the opportunity to leverage Smartpay's technology and merchant solutions across our own merchant base."

"Viaduct has always been a customer centric business and we have developed a number of innovative products for our customers. This will be further enhanced through the potential of Smartpay's new hardware range of next-generation payments solutions, including their mobile Apple IOS and Android based integrated payments terminals. We believe our access to these new technologies will provide us with a significant competitive advantage in the merchant payments industry. We are pleased to become shareholders of the expanded Smartpay group as we regard the synergy and growth benefits of the merger to be substantial over time".

In addition to their significant shareholdings in Smartpay through the equity component of the purchase price, as a long term incentive under their employment agreements, each of Mr Unwin and Mr Pomeroy will be entitled to a long term incentive bonus of 2 million options to subscribe for shares in Smartpay at 20 cents per share (exercisable on or after 31 December 2015) and 2 million options to subscribe for shares in Smartpay at 30 cents per share (exercisable on or after 31 December 2017). Should these options be exercised in full the company will receive additional equity of $2m in due course.
 

Capital Raising

The Board of Smartpay is pleased to confirm it has secured commitments for a capital raising of $3.7m to support the acquisition. The equity has been raised via a private placement to institutional and sophisticated investors at the same price as the shares issued to the vendors ($0.15).

The issue of the new shares will be subject to approval by Smartpay's shareholders at a special meeting to be held during January 2013. A Notice of Meeting and Explanatory Memorandum will be dispatched once a meeting date has been set.


ASX Listing Update

The Board is pleased to confirm that it has made substantial progress to list on the ASX through a compliance listing process, however the acquisition of Viaduct has resulted in an extension of the time frame which was originally planned for this calendar year. As under the ASX Listing Rules a company seeking a compliance listing on the ASX is prohibited from raising capital for 90 days on either side of the listing, with the capital raising to fund the acquisition likely to complete in late January, Smartpay's ASX listing is now expected to occur in the 2nd quarter of 2013.


Thursday, November 29, 2012
 

Smartpay Interim Result Announcement 

 

  • Interim result a mix of old and new structure as restructure occurred mid period
  • Business on track and performing well following restructure


Smartpay, a leading provider of payments and transactional solutions in New Zealand and Australia, today announced its interim, unaudited financial results for the six months to 30 September 2012.

Six month financial highlights:
 

  • Revenue $7.155 million,
  • Gross Profit $6.245 million,
  • Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), $1.916 million,


Managing Director, Bradley Gerdis, said "This interim result reflects a mix of the old and new structure as the restructure of the business occurred mid period between July and August. This interim result is therefore not reflective of the current business as it only includes a part period of cash flows from the bringing the rental revenue back in house".

As the month of October is the most representative month of the business under the new model post the restructure and provides the best indication of the how the business is currently performing, the Board is pleased to confirm that the business is now performing in-line with expectations.

We said at the time of the restructure that "...once the recapitalisation is complete and rental revenues are brought back into the business, the Board expects the business to generate revenue in the order of $17.5m and EBITDA of $7.5m on an annualised basis." (Source: SPY 2012 full year results announcement, 30/05/12) .We are pleased to confirm that for the month of October, being the first full month under the new structure, that the business is generating revenue of approximately $17.0m and EBITDA of $7.4m (unaudited management accounts) on an annualised basis.

The slightly lower revenue number relates to one small group of contracts that we have not yet brought back in-house. While we continue to negotiate with the party holding those contracts with the intention to eventually bring them back in-house, the rest of the business is performing ahead of expectations resulting in overall profitability in-line with expectations so we are pleased with the overall position of the business. Of course our net debt is lower as a result of not having bought back these contracts and with the benefit of the positive monthly cash flows generated by the business.
 

Business Update and Outlook


New Zealand

Our New Zealand business is performing well and we have a number of new products and services due for release over the next few months. We will be introducing a completely new hardware range of next-generation payments solutions including mobile Apple IOS and Android based integrated payments terminals. We also have a number of new business streams expected to deliver incremental revenue opportunities in the new year.
 

Australia

We have started to resource our Australian sales team and have recently appointed an experienced General Sales Manager to lead the growth of our Australian sales channels.

We have had significant interest in our next-generation payments solutions from both our banking channels and direct from retailers. With both the products and sales capability in place we expect to see strong growth from Australia in the new year.


Thursday, August 23, 2012
 

Smartpay Shareholder Share Purchase Plan Completed 


Smartpay, a leading provider of payments and transactional solutions in New Zealand and Australia, is pleased to advise that it has completed its Shareholder Share Purchase Plan (SPP) raising $925,000 from 109 shareholders.

Managing Director, Bradley Gerdis, said "This is a welcome show of support from our existing shareholder base and a pleasing conclusion to our capital raising".

"This final component brings the total equity raised in this capital raising to $17.3m which puts us ahead of our original target and takes us forward with a well capitalised balance sheet to facilitate our growth plans."
 

Business Update

With our capital raising process now complete, we are firmly focused on growing the business.

We have begun the process of resourcing our Australian business to service the growth opportunities in that market and are currently working on a number of organic and strategic initiatives across both Australia and New Zealand consistent with our growth objectives.
 

ASX Listing

The Board is pleased to confirm that the process to list on the Australian Stock Exchange is underway and is on track for completion by the end of this calendar year.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012
 

Smartpay Announces 31 March 2012 Final Results and Imminent Completion of Major Recapitalisation and Restructure Following Recent Appointment of New Chief Executive 


Smartpay, a leading provider of payments and transactional solutions in New Zealand and Australia, today announced its financial results for the year ended 31 March 2012 together with the announcement that it has substantially completed a positive recapitalisation and restructure of the business.  This restructure is consistent with the new Chief Executive's previously advised strategy to move to a new business model based on sustainable, annuity style revenue and cash flow.
 

  • 2012 results are reflective of the previous business model
  • Restructure of the business substantially complete and recapitalisation imminent
  • NZ$13m of equity raised at NZ$0.115
  • NZ$25m of committed banking facilities from ASB
  • Appointment of Australian Chairman
  • New Chief Operating Officer
  • Board changes
  • ASX Listing to proceed


2012 Full Year Result

The full year result has revenue down 39% to $28.9m; an EBITDA loss of $1.95m and a Net Loss After Tax of $12.1m.

This result is a direct consequence of the following main components:
 

  1.  A maturing of the growth in the New Zealand terminal market following the completion of an industry wide terminal upgrade cycle which saw strong growth in the business in the prior period.


The previous business model and accounting policy required that the majority of revenue from rental contracts be recognised at the time of signing the contracts.  While this model generated significant revenue and profits in the previous periods where the market was characterised by strong growth through the large volume of terminals deployed to meet the industry upgrade program, once this was completed the growth slowed dramatically making it difficult to continue to generate the level of new contracts necessary to maintain the previous level of revenue.
 

  1. Slower than expected growth into the Australian market, largely due to funding constraints.
  2. The significant restructure of the business by the new Chief Executive which included significant write-downs of balance sheet items to ensure that the business goes forward into the new business model, after the capital raising, with a strong balance sheet.


 The total value of these adjustments amounts to $6.1m of which:
 

  • $3.1m is reflected as a reduction in EBITDA including: 
    • write downs / write offs of stock ($1.5m);
    • write downs / write offs of a number of other items including capital raising fees; legal and consulting fees; employee restructuring costs ($1.6m in aggregate);
  •  $3m is reflected as costs below EBITDA including:
    • write downs / write offs of software ($1.4m)
    • write down in the value of our FIVO Wifi assets ($0.5m);
    • write off of finance charges capitalised under the previous model ($1.1m).


Importantly all these adjustments are non-cash in nature.  Without these non-cash adjustments the business would have reported an EBITDA profit and a much lower bottom line loss.

Recently appointed Chief Executive, Bradley Gerdis, commented as follows "This result needs to be viewed in the context of the opportunity I saw when I invested in the business around 5 months ago".

 "What I identified was a business with an enviable position in the New Zealand and Australian payments industry and which through its significant deployed terminal fleet should be generating a significant level of cash flow and profit. However this wasn't the case due to a combination of the structure of the balance sheet and the revenue recognition policy which left the company exposed with limited financial resources to grow outside the maturing New Zealand market".

 "The opportunity I identified was to restructure the business through a combination of a balance sheet restructure / recapitalisation and a change in the business model to retain the monthly contracted cash flows from terminal rentals within the business.  I am pleased to announce today that in a relatively short period of time we have achieved what we set out to do".

"Today we announce that we have secured both equity and debt commitments to facilitate the complete recapitalisation and restructure of the business.  Through this recapitalisation we will be unwinding the previous rental securitisation model and bringing all the cashflow from our extensive terminal rental fleet back into the business.  Consistent with this change in the nature of our business we will also be changing our accounting policy to recognise our rental revenue when received which will move the company to a stronger position with sustainable revenue and cashflow".

"This signals a significant and immediate turn-around of the business which will unlock immediate value for shareholders and position the business for the tremendous growth opportunity we have ahead of us, particularly in Australia which is a market I have direct experience in and is our key focus for growth."

"In addition to the recapitalisation of the business, we have made a number of other significant changes in the business which strengthen it and position it for growth, including:
 

  •  Board changes, including the proposed appointment of new Australia based industry focused Chairman; and
  • Senior management changes including the appointment of a new Chief Operating Officer.


 "It cannot be over emphasised that this is a "good news" story.  The result announced today was simply a necessary conclusion to the previous model to enable the positive re-launch of the business to capitalise on a growing market opportunity.  This is supported by our ability to complete the significant capital raising announced today where we have secured commitments for NZ$13m of equity capital from professional and sophisticated investors at a premium to recent trading levels."

It is worth noting that the consolidated result masks the positive progress we have achieved in our Australian business over the period with Australian revenue up 105% to $6.3m.

 This is pleasing progress particularly given the challenging financial constraints of the company over the period.


2013 Financial Guidance

As an illustration of the immediate benefits of the restructure and recapitalisation of the business and the change in accounting policy as reflected above, once the recapitalisation is complete and rental revenues are brought back into the business, the Board expects the business to generate revenue in the order of $17.5m and EBITDA of $7.5m on an annualised basis.

These numbers are pre-growth in the business and are simply reflective of the current revenue and cash flows generated by the existing terminal fleet and other current revenue items once they are all brought back in-house and on the basis that revenue is recognised as it is received.  Depending on the nature and timing of the growth achieved the prospects are to materially grow these numbers.

The key point to note is that these numbers represent a sustainable, annuity style business model which provides a solid foundation from which to grow.
 

Completion of Equity Raising

The Board of Smartpay is pleased to announce that it has secured commitments for subscriptions of NZ$13m of new shares at NZ$0.115 per share.

Subscribers to the placement include both institutional and private investors across New Zealand and Australia.

Recently appointed Chief Executive, Bradley Gerdis, commented "the quality of investors we were able to attract in this placement and the fact that we were able to raise the money at a premium to recent trading levels is testament to the solid foundation of the company and recent positive changes we have made in the business and reflects the value to be released through this recapitalisation and restructure of the business."

The placement of the shares is subject to shareholder approval which will be sought at a Special General Meeting of shareholders due to be called shortly.
 

Completion of Debt Raising

The Board is further pleased to announce that it has secured NZ$25m of new banking facilities from the ASB Bank to facilitate the capital restructure and provide growth funding.

The banking facility consists of two components:
 

  1. NZ$20m 3 year facility for the recapitalisation and restructure of the balance sheet; and
  2. NZ$5m growth capex facility.


The debt facility is fully committed and is subject only to shareholder approval of the NZ$13m equity placement and the satisfaction of usual conditions precedent which are largely procedural in nature.

Gerdis commented "the ASB have been fantastic in their rapid engagement and understanding of our needs and the opportunity to create value".

"In addition to supporting our New Zealand business the bank is supporting our Australia growth plans through the provision of a growth capex facility to assist us in funding terminal growth into this large market".
 

Recapitalisation Plan

The funds raised under the equity placement and new debt facilities form the final piece of a recapitalisation plan that will see a complete restructure of the balance sheet including the repayment of high priced securitisation and mezzanine debt.  The company also intends to redeem / convert the company's convertible notes.  On this basis the only debt on the balance sheet post the recapitalisation will be the ASB facility which is at a very competitive interest rate.

The effect of this recapitalisation plan will be to maintain the contracted monthly rental cash flows from the company's extensive EFTPOS terminal fleet within the business resulting in a move away from the previous model of lumpy, unpredictable cash flow to an annuity style recurring cash flow model.

Chief Executive, Bradley Gerdis, says "this is an outstanding result and entirely consistent with our stated objectives when I joined the company earlier this year."

"The recapitalisation of our balance sheet significantly reduces our cost of capital and de-risks the business by moving away from the previous model of discounting the rental book cash flows to external financiers which resulted in lumpy and unpredictable cash flow".

"The high cost of capital of the previous funding model meant that a significant amount of the value generated by the business was leaking to its debt financiers with very little remaining for shareholders.  We are now able to move to a model of maintaining the contracted rental cash flows within the business which results in smoother, sustainable, annuity style cash flow and sets the foundation for profitable growth and real shareholder value".


New Industry Focused Australian Chairman

The Board is pleased to announce the proposed appointment of Mr Ivan Hammerschlag as its new Chairman.

It is intended that Mr Hammerschlag will join the Board following the Special General Meeting of shareholders due to be called shortly to approve the equity placement.

Mr Hammerschlag is an experienced and successful Australian businessman and has chaired the boards of a number of successful Australian companies, both private and publicly listed.

Mr Hammerschlag is currently the Executive Chairman of RCG Corporation which is a retail conglomerate listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.  When Mr Hammerschlag joined RCG in 2006 the company had a market cap of $8m and was suffering severe financial stress.  Today the business is highly profitable with a market cap in excess of $80m.

Mr Hammerschlag's previous experience includes:
 

  • Owner of Freedom Furniture prior to its listing on the Australian Stock Exchange;
  • Co-owner of a retail software company, Divergent Technologies, which grew through a number of acquisitions before finally listing on the NASDAQ; and
  • Executive Chairman of five private equity backed companies in Australia.


Mr Hammerschlag has committed a substantial personal equity investment to become a shareholder of Smartpay around the time of his appointment. In connection with such subscription and Mr Hammerschlag's proposed appointment to the Board of Smartpay, Smartpay intends to grant Mr Hammerschlag incentive options comprising 2 million options at an exercise price of 15 cents per share exercisable between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2014, 2 million options at an exercise price of 20 cents per share exercisable between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 and 2 million options at an exercise price of 30 cents per share exercisable between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2018. The terms of the options will otherwise be similar to the terms applying to the options granted to Haymaker Investments Pty Ltd (Bradley Gerdis) earlier this year.

Said Gerdis of Hammerschlag's appointment "We are extremely pleased to have secured the services of a Chairman of the calibre of Ivan.  The core market for our payments solutions is the retail industry so to have the skills and profile of a leading Australian retailer on our Board will no doubt be a real asset to the company going forward."

Mr Hammerschlag commented "I am delighted to be invited to join the Board of Smartpay and in particular to support Brad in his vision for the company".

"In my many years of experience in the retail industry we are now seeing an increasing demand from merchants for innovation and value add functionality in their payments technology which creates a significant opportunity for Smartpay as a leader in this field".

"With the recapitalisation of the business and new growth funding in place I look forward to working with Brad and his team to take the business through its next growth phase."

The Board would like to note their appreciation for outgoing Chairman Wayne Johnson's long standing support of the business and particularly his contribution in facilitating the recent events and changes within the business.
 

Other Board Changes

Ian Bailey has today confirmed to the Board his resignation as a Director of the Company.

Bradley Gerdis will join the board as Managing Director following the Special General Meeting of shareholders due to be called shortly to approve the equity placement.

The Board would like to note their appreciation for Ian's dedication and leadership in building the business to its current position as a market leader in the New Zealand payments industry and facilitating the recent changes in the business.
 

Appointment of New Chief Operating Officer

The Company is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Mr Rod Severn to the position of Chief Operating Officer.

Rod is the first senior appointment made by Bradley Gerdis since his appointment as Chief Executive and is consistent with the previously stated objective to make a small number of senior executive appointments to support the evolving strategy for the business.

Rod joined Smartpay as Chief Operating Officer at the end of March 2012.  He brings to Smartpay over 20 years of experience in the IT industry.

Prior to joining Smartpay, Rod's roles included:
 

  • Sales Director for Maxnet, a NZ based full data centre and cloud virtualisation company;
  • State Manager, NSW for Sun Microsystems where he managed 135 people across sales (hardware and software), technical, professional services and field roles;
  • Country Manager for Sun Microsystems New Zealand; and
  • Other senior sales and management roles including: Computer Associates, Fuji Xerox and Memorex Telex.


Said Gerdis of Severn's appointment "We are extremely pleased to have secured the services of Rod to lead the operational development of our business".

"This is a critical role for the successful delivery of our strategy and Rod's deep experience and track record of success in senior technology sales roles is already evident in some of the positive outcomes he has achieved in his short time in our business".
 

ASX Listing

The company has resumed its plans to list on the Australian Stock Exchange and will proceed with the process immediately following the shareholders meeting to approve the capital raising. 

The Board anticipates that the Company's shares will be dual listed on the ASX and NZX by the end of this calendar year.
 

Accounting Policies

The Company's previous accounting policy has been to recognise the majority of the revenue from its rental contracts up front in the period in which the contracts are signed.  Under this methodology revenue was recognised up front on the signing of a contract as a finance lease transaction. This was consistent with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for the nature of the business to date.

Going forward, following the restructure of the business, the business model will reflect that of a service and operating lease model.  Accordingly the Board intends to change the accounting policy to reflect this through accounting for revenue when it is received over the life of a contract.

 The benefit of the new accounting treatment will be to smooth revenue over the term of the rental contracts and better match revenue to costs.

 Importantly the financial results released today were based on the previous accounting policy and revenue recognition model and as such will not be comparable with the new basis going forward.

Gerdis commented "the previous revenue recognition policy, while consistent with the nature of the business in the past as it followed the previous funding structure, is not appropriate for the business going forward.  The benefits of recognising revenue when received rather than up front will facilitate the reporting of a more sustainable revenue line which will flow through the financial statements.  It should also make our financial statements easier to understand which should promote investor support".
 

Strategy Update and Outlook

As a significant participant in the New Zealand payments industry and with a growing profile into Australia, Smartpay is now better placed than ever to capitalise on an increasing opportunity set.

 Chief Executive, Bradley Gerdis, comments: "This is a complete re-launch of the business off a very solid operational foundation.  We go forward with a new senior management team, a new Chairman, new board members, a number of new and supportive shareholders and a restructured balance sheet".

 "When I joined the business in January as both Chief Executive and a major shareholder I saw a significant opportunity to build on the solid operational foundation already in place to grow a substantial business in a space I know well after having built a similar business from start-up to become a major player in the Australian payments industry".

 "At the time of my initial engagement with Smartpay I recognised that the business faced some immediate challenges which needed to be addressed before it would be able to properly capitalise on these opportunities, the most pressing of which was its balance sheet and capital structure".

 "In a relatively short space of time that work is now substantially complete and with all these positive changes in place the business is now correctly structured and well resourced for growth".

 "Of course this is only the first step in a much broader strategy to create value for all shareholders.  The next step is to add scale to extract the benefits of the operational leverage inherent in the existing platform".

"In terms of the broader strategy, the opportunity into Australia is real, sizable and immediate.  This is expected to include strong organic growth which will in all likelihood be accelerated through strategic acquisitions aimed at fast tracking our capability, resources and scale into this market which has the potential to significantly exceed our current New Zealand business in terms of scale over time".

"The focus in New Zealand is to continue to build on our leading market position with a particular focus on extracting incremental value from our extensive existing merchant base".

"The business has an enviable reputation for technology innovation, a function of our existing IP base and our internal technology development capability.  This is a core differentiator and will form the basis for the delivery of additional revenue generating products to our existing and growing merchant base".


Monday, February 20, 2012
 

Smartpay Revises Earnings Guidance - NZ Market Weaker than Expected 


Smartpay advises that due to the delay in finalising some of its customer contracts and lower than expected uplift in NZ sales, originally expected to occur within the current 31 March 2012 financial year, it is now extremely unlikely that the Company will achieve its previous earnings guidance as indicated in the Company's interim results announced on 25 November 2011.

The company continues to maintain its market share in New Zealand with the investment in the Australian market starting to show results with announcements expected soon.

 The final end year profit numbers will be heavily dependent on the timing of the finalisation and delivery of a number of key contracts which the Company is currently working on. Therefore no guidance can be given at this time, except to note that the final result will be a function of the number and value of contracts currently underway which complete prior to the 31 March 2012 year end date.

 The previous guidance was based on the expectation that a number of significant customer contracts would be completed before the 31 March financial year end, hence would be included in the current financial year's result.  However with less than 6 weeks until year end it is now increasingly unlikely that all of these contracts will complete in the timeframe due to delays in obtaining the firm orders, and meeting compliance requirements, thereby potentially impacting on the financial year end result.

Importantly Management of the Company regards this to be largely a timing issue with the majority of these contracts still expected to be concluded, albeit after the 31 March 2012 year end date.  This will see the profits from these contracts falling into the 2013 financial year.

The Company expects to provide further guidance once there is more clarity around the final year end figures.


Monday, February 20, 2012
 

Smartpay Announces Management Changes, Recapitalisation Plan and Strategy Update


Smartpay, a leading provider of payments and transactional solutions in New Zealand and Australia, today announced it has restructured its management team, has a major recapitalisation process underway and has implemented a new strategy and business plan.
 

Management Restructure

Consistent with his previously stated intention to retire from his executive role within the Company, the board announces Ian Bailey will retire his role as Managing Director, effective March 30 2012.  Mr. Bailey will remain available to support the CEO and the management team with regards to sales and technical development.

Recently appointed Group CEO, Bradley Gerdis, is expected to be appointed Managing Director on or around the listing of the Company on the ASX which continues to be a near term focus for the Company.

As a founding executive of Customers Limited, an ASX listed ATM and payments company, Gerdis was instrumental in the growth of that company from a start up to become Australia's largest ATM operator. The Customers Ltd business was focused on contracted transactional based revenue streams, a strategy Gerdis aims to implement at SPY.

During his time at Customers Ltd, Gerdis also played a lead role in the development of Strategic Payments Services Pty Ltd ("SPS"), Australia's leading independent payments processing company and a joint venture between Customers Ltd, Bendigo Bank and MasterCard International.  SPY is currently completing the certification of its PAX EFTPOS terminal on the SPS switch which is expected to be completed by mid March, which will provide SPY with immediate access into the Australian banking system in addition to its current certifications with Westpac in Australia.

As a significant shareholder and Group CEO of Smartpay, Gerdis will be focusing on growth opportunities and strategic direction of the Group with a view to significantly increasing shareholder value.

It is expected that Gerdis will make a small number of senior executive appointments to support the evolving strategy for the business.
 

Recapitalisation Plan and Strategy Update

A review of the current business model by Gerdis has resulted in a new strategy to de-risk the business by moving away from the previous model of discounting the rental book cash flows to external financiers towards a model of maintaining the contracted rental cash flows within the business.

Gerdis says "the current model, whilst key to funding the rapid growth of the Company in the recent past, the company results are characterised by lumpy and unpredictable revenue, earnings and cash flow.  Going forward our aim is to retain the annuity style cash flow from the rental contracts within the business which will smooth revenue, earnings and cash flow and in so doing de-risk the business while setting the foundation for our future growth plans."

"To achieve this we have begun a major recapitalisation plan aimed at moving away from the Company's previous high cost securitisation funding model towards a conventional bank funding model with the aim to materially reduce the cost of funding and put in place the necessary facilities to achieve our growth objectives.  While we are in the early stages of this process with no firm commitments as yet, the level of early engagement we have received from potential banks both within New Zealand and Australia is encouraging" Gerdis said.

Gerdis added "In terms of the broader strategy, the opportunity into Australia is real, sizable and immediate.  This is expected to include strong organic growth which will in all likelihood be accelerated through strategic acquisitions aimed at fast tracking our capability, resources and scale into this market which has the potential to significantly exceed our current New Zealand business.

"The focus in New Zealand is to continue to build on our leading market position with a particular focus on extracting incremental value from our extensive existing merchant base.  The business has an enviable reputation for technology innovation, a function of our existing IP base and our internal technology development capability.  This is a core differentiator and will form the basis for the delivery of additional revenue generating products to our existing and growing merchant base".

Says Smartpay Chairman Wayne Johnson "Bradley has the complete support of the Board in developing and implementing the new direction for the Group.  He has a clear understanding of what needs to be done and has demonstrated a track record of delivering a very similar strategy in a very similar industry and importantly in our core growth market.  The Board is confident that once the recapitalisation process is complete and appropriate funding structures are in place, Bradley will have what he needs to take the Company through its next growth phase."

Johnson notes, "As advised previously, we remain committed to appointing additional directors over time to further strengthen the company's board, especially in Australia."


Monday, February 20, 2012
 

Smartpay Signs Major Strategic Contract in Australia 


Smartpay, a leading provider of payments and transactional solutions in Australia and New Zealand, today announced that it has signed a five year agreement with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (the "Bank") for the provision of an initial 4,000 of Smartpay's EFTPOS terminals to the Bank's merchants on a rental basis.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is the first alternative to Australia's major banks with a growing base of merchants nationwide.

 Under the agreement Smartpay will upgrade an initial 4,000 of the Bank's merchant terminals to be EMV compliant and meet the latest banking security standards for Australia.

Smartpay CEO Bradley Gerdis says "This is a significant milestone for Smartpay as it signals our entry into the sizable Australian merchant market, a natural progression from our long standing presence in the Australian taxi payments market through our relationship with Live Taxis."

 Gerdis added "An important component of this transaction is the certification of our EFTPOS terminals on the Strategic Payments Services ("SPS") transaction processing switch.  SPS is a leading independent electronic payments processing switch in Australia and the switch of choice of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.  This follows the certification of our terminals on the Westpac transaction processing switch last year and is expected to open up additional avenues for terminal deployment growth into Australia.

"Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has an enviable history of payments innovation in Australia and we look forward to offering our extensive suite of innovative payments solutions to their broader merchant base."

 Greg Devlin, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Head of Access & Payment Systems says that the Smartpay proposal was timely and provides a good solution for the bank especially with finalising its EMV rollout.

 "We look forward to working with Smartpay in delivering an innovative approach in the Australian market to servicing our merchants. There is a great opportunity going forward for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Smart Pay to set the benchmark for the support of businesses with their payment needs ." says Devlin.

The terminals are expected to be delivered around end March 2012 with installation at the merchants spanning the following few months.