Thursday , March 21, 2019

Eye on Acquiring: Global Payments Ventures Into Fast Food; Shah Resigns As JetPay Chairman

Few businesses have been more targeted by the trend toward integrated payments than restaurants, and late on Thursday that trend unfolded further with Global Payments Inc.’s agreement to lay out $490 million in cash for Sicom Systems Inc., a Lansdale, Pa.-based developer of both front- and back-of-the-store management systems for more than 25,000 locations in more than 62 countries, including those of quick-service brands McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King, according to the company’s Web site. The seller is LLR Partners, a private-equity firm.

The deal, which Global Payments expects to close in the fourth quarter, brings to the big Atlanta-based processor a 31-year-old company specializing in products ranging from digital menu boards and order-confirmation units to data analytics and kitchen management. The focus on integrated payments involves infusing payments capability into such management software.

Sloan: “The acquisition of Sicom aligns perfectly with our software-driven payments strategy.”

“The acquisition of Sicom aligns perfectly with our software-driven payments strategy and establishes Global Payments as a leader in one of the largest addressable markets we serve today,” said Jeff Sloan, Global Payments’ chief executive, in a statement. The deal also allows Global Payments to extend its services into food-service management, Sloan said, adding this new opportunity offers “a large addressable market globally with attractive fundamentals, while further accelerating our business mix toward technology enablement.”

Global has been especially eager in the last few years to open its wallet to support its integrated-payments strategy. In recent deals, it closed on a $700-million transaction earlier this month for AdvancedMD Inc., a software vendor to medical practices. A year ago, it shelled out $1.2 billion to buy two units of the Active Network, which sells management software to event sponsors.

In other processor news, Laurence L. Stone has been named chairman of Allentown, Pa.-based JetPay Corp., succeeding Bipin C. Shah, who had been chairman since 2010. A 27-year veteran of the payments business, Stone is the managing member of Sundara Investment Partners LLC and managing member of Main Line Trading Partners LLC.

Shah, also an industry veteran, resigned as chairman on Sept. 14, according to an 8-K filing. No further information was immediately available regarding the resignation, though the filing says, “Mr. Shah’s resignation was not the result of a disagreement on any matter relating to the registrant’s operations, policies, or practices.”

JetPay plans to request a hearing where it will appeal a finding from Nasdaq Stock Market LLC that the company’s market valuation has fallen below a $35-million threshold necessary to remain listed on the exchange, according to the 8-K filing. The request will stay any action by Nasdaq to suspend or delist the company, the filing says. As of mid-day Friday, the shares were trading at $1.90, good for a $29.3-million market capitalization.


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