he sale was made for an enterprise value of approximately 243 million euros, on a debt-free, cash-free basis, at current exchange rates.
Gtech currently holds a 74.43% controlling equity interest in Polcard and 25.24% is held by Innova Capital. The remaining 0.3% will be retained by the Polish Bank Association.
Polcard is the leading debit/credit card merchant transaction acquirer, bank-card issuer, and ATM management company in Poland, with a nationwide retail network of more than 58,000 electronic acquiring devices and well-established relationships with many of the country's leading card-issuing banks. Its net revenue for calendar 2006 was approximately 35 million euros.
The sale of Polcard is contingent upon the approval of the Polish Competition and Consumer Protection Office and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to be completed by next June 30. Gtech expects the net sale proceeds will be utilized for general corporate purposes.
The company does not expect the 2007 - 2009 Strategic Plan presented in January 2007 to be materially impacted by the pending Polcard transaction.
W. Bruce Turner, Lottomatica CEO and Gtech President & CEO, said: “Today's announcement is in line with our overall business strategy to move away from stand-alone commercial services opportunities. Going forward, our objective in this area is to pursue a lottery overlay model in which we add complementary commercial services in jurisdictions where we have existing lottery operations, particularly in Italy.”
“Polcard's growth over the last four years has exceeded our expectations. This is the result of exceptional performance of the management team, as well as the dynamic development of electronic transactions in our country,” said Krzysztof Kulig, Innova Capital Partner. “Innova will expand on its Polcard experience and continue to invest in the financial services sector in Central and Eastern Europe.”
First Data International, part of First Data Corp. is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses worldwide. It serves a diverse range of markets, leveraging global scale through a local presence and maintaining focus on individual client needs, and operates across Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America, Canada, Australia and Asia-Pacific.