A trans-Atlantic battle of wills between two POS payments
technology vendors, Ingenico in France and Hypercom in the US, has
ended with Ingenico retracting its tentative offer to buy Hypercom
for $330 million in cash. Ingenico’s offer valued Hypercom at about
50 percent more than its current market capitalisation.
Termination of Ingenico’s acquisitive approach to Hypercom came
after the latter announced that it had executed a share offer for
French electronic systems developer Thales’s e-Transactions unit, a
provider of card payment solutions in France, Germany, the UK,
Spain, Belgium and Sweden. The deal with Thales, announced in
December 2007, is worth about $150 million.
The purchase offer made to Hypercom by Ingenico, which was
arguably acting to defend its home turf, specified that Hypercom
must terminate its proposed acquisition of e-Transactions. Notably,
the offer to acquire Hypercom came a few days after Ingenico
announced that it had filed legal proceedings against private
equity firm Francisco Partners for breaching a mutual
confidentiality agreement by providing a $60 million senior credit
facility to Hypercom to partly fund its acquisition of
e-Transactions. Ingenico insisted that Francisco Partners should
immediately withdraw from the proposed commitment.
However, Hypercom’s offer for e-Transactions was binding, a fact
Ingenico made clear that it was unaware of until well after it had
made its offer.
“We believed that Hypercom was serious about discussing this
offer with us,” said Ingenico in a statement.
Commenting, Hypercom chairman Norman Stout said in a statement:
“After discussions with Ingenico throughout the day yesterday [12
February] and further correspondence today, it became clear there
was no path acceptable to the parties to pursue a transaction
between Hypercom and Ingenico at this time. Accordingly, our board
determined to move forward with the e-Transactions purchase, which
provides our shareholders with substantial certainty of close,
increased scale, and enhanced product and service
The deal will “significantly strengthen our footprint in Western
Europe,” he added.