Greg Barclay is a popular figure on NZ cricket grounds. As chairman of NZ Cricket, he has seen the Black Caps march up to Number 2 in world rankings.
On his watch the team came achingly close to winning the World Cup and in the last week the Black Caps trounced the touring English team at the Bay Oval.
Whether they can win the test series is now the issue as the second test begins in Hamilton.
Barclay is a man of many talents, as one might expect. In between the cricket tests, he has presided over the kind of breathtaking performance by a company on the NZX which Black Caps captain Kane Williamson would be happy to replicate on the field.
As chairman of Smartpay Holdings, a tech company operating in the finance world, Barclay on Thursday told the market it had sold its NZ operation for $70m, a price close to double the market capitalisation the company was valued at last week.
Smartpay shares, which had been selling at 27.5c, promptly leapt to 51c.
In announcing it had reached a binding agreement to sell its NZ business and assets to Verifone Inc. for a cash purchase price of $70m,, subject to certain conditions, the Smartpay board said the proceeds of the sale will be used to capitalise the Australian business for accelerated growth, settle all banking facilities and provide a cash distribution of 20c to shareholders.
Bradley Gerdis, Smartpay’s managing director, in a masterly understatement, said the transaction is a significant achievement for Smartpay
“ … as it recognises the substantial value created in the NZ business.
“The transaction provides a substantial value outcome for our shareholders in what is a mature part of our business and allows us to go forward applying all our resources and focus to our fast growing Australian terminal and acquiring business.”
In the September half-year Smartpay’s revenue lifted 32% to $13.4m.
Significantly the Australian acquiring income of $3.8m was a 530% increase on the prior period of $0.6m. Smartpay expects the current annualised run rate (as of late November) to be over $12m compared with $2.4m for the entire 2019 financial year.
The company says the strong revenue increase is a direct result of the continued growth in the Australian terminal and acquiring business over the period.
The Australian acquiring terminal fleet now stands at 4,000 self acquired terminals, up from 1,500 at the same time last year.
“We are now processing over $1Bn of EFTPOS transactions on an annualised basis. This is pleasing validation of our Australian strategy to seek growth from this large market”.
Let’s hope the NZ cricketers can shine as brilliantly as the Smartpay players.