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3 January, 2017 - 10:55 By Tony Quested

Cambridge lawyers advise PayPoint on £26.5m mobile payments business sale

Tom Pickthorn Mills and Reeve in Cambridge

National law firm Mills & Reeve played a key role in PayPoint plc’s £26.5 million cash sale of its mobile payments business to Volkswagen Financial Services AG.

Mills & Reeve corporate partner Tom Pickthorn led an international team advising Welwyyn-based PayPoint on the transaction, including Mills & Reeve’s ‘best friend’ relationship firm, FIDAL in France and Bull Housser in Canada. The deal provided a further example of Mills & Reeve’s strong track record in advising technology businesses on strategic transactions.

A dividend of the gross sale proceeds, which amounts to 38.9p per share, will be paid on January11 to shareholders on the register on January 6. The sale marked the conclusion of a restructuring set out as long ago as May 2015 and followed the sale of the company’s online payments business. 

PayPoint said its mobile payments business was performing better than expected, with record transaction volumes and mobile app downloads driving growth in revenue.  

Its sale was in line with PayPoint's strategy of narrowing its focus on multi-channel payments in territories in which it has retail networks. The mobile payments business comprised PayByPhone Technologies Inc., PayByPhone Limited, Mobile Payment Services SAS and Adaptis Solutions Limited. 

The aggregate loss before tax of the mobile business was £2.6m for the year ended March 31. The gross assets were £5.2m at September 30. 

The business contracts with parking authorities to provide mobile phone payment of parking charges in the UK, USA, Canada, France and Switzerland. 

Chief executive Dominic Taylor, said: “I am delighted to have found such a well suited company to acquire our PayByPhone business and take it forward. We wish the buyer and the employees of PayByPhone the best for the future. With the major restructuring completed in line with our strategy, we can now direct our entire focus on the development of our retail business, including the continued rollout of our new PayPoint One terminal and EPoS.”

Deloitte LLP acted as corporate finance adviser and Mills & Reeve LLP as legal adviser to PayPoint on the sale.

PayPoint delivers payments and services by taking the complexity of multi-channel payments and translating it into convenient, simple, value-added solutions. It handles almost £10 billion from over 694 million transactions annually.

The PayPoint retail network across the UK numbers over 28,200 local shops (including Co-op, Spar, McColls, Costcutter, Sainsbury's Local, Tesco Express, One Stop, Asda, Londis and thousands of independents), where it processes energy meter pre-payments, bill payments, benefit payments, mobile phone top-ups, transport tickets, BBC TV licences, cash withdrawals and a range of other transactions. 

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Tom Pickthorn, Mills & Reeve

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