U.s. Expansion For Brit E-payments Firm

Optimal Payments plc buys American companies

The British payment processing group Optimal Payments plc has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the partnership interests of California based payment processing entity TK Global Partners LP (trading as 'Meritus Payment Solutions') for a consideration of $210 million.

The consideration consists of $150 million in cash and $60 million of Optimal Payments shares, issued in equal tranches over four years commencing on the first anniversary of the closing date.

Optimal Payments has also entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the trade and assets of Global Merchant Advisors, Inc, a US based online payments company, for up to $15 million in cash, $10 million of which is payable on closing and the balance based on future performance of the business.

Completion of the Meritus Acquisition and the GMA Acquisition are conditional on one another and subject to customary closing conditions. Closing is expected to occur early in the third quarter of 2014.

Strategic highlights of the acquisitions include:

* US merchant portfolio: adds over 8,000 US high growth small and medium businesses in a broad range of vertical markets.

* US sales force: provides a successful, established and multi-channel US sales force.

* US acquiring bank relationships: provides additional established US acquiring bank relationships with leading bank partners.

* Adds scale to subsidiary Netbanx.

Optimal Payments will continue to operate the Meritus brand which has a strong presence and value in the key US market.

Joel Leonoff, president and chief executive officer, Optimal Payments, commented:

"The US market represents the single greatest expansion opportunity for Optimal Payments. After careful evaluation of a number of potential candidates, Meritus stood out as the perfect choice on all fronts. The company's strong stakeholder relationships, multi-channel sales force, established presence with small and medium businesses in the US and entrepreneurial spirit makes them an ideal acquisition for us. I am very excited about the combination of our businesses which immediately accelerates the Group's growth opportunities and accomplishes a stated key strategic goal for us in 2014."

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