Going on the front foot – the lessons Black Caps could learn from businessman who chairs Cricket NZ

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.

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