SafeCharge has acquired 3V Transaction Services, with the company set to form the foundation of the UK-listed payment provider’s card issuing division.

SafeCharge has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100 per cent of 3V’s issued share capital for a total consideration of €14.5m, of which €11.6m is payable on completion in January 2015.

The acquisition will accelerate the company's entry into pre-paid card issuance, gift cards, vouchers and mobile payments.

It explained that pre-paid cards are one of Europe’s fastest growing payment methods, with the market growing at around 21 per cent each year. The deal expands SafeCharge’s B2B product offering and will allow it to leverage its issuing status with MasterCard, its digital wallet and its PAY.com brand, as well as offering cross-selling opportunities in a number of countries.

SafeCharge chief executive David Avgi said the acquisition was the latest milestone in the execution of his company’s strategy to enter new product verticals and deliver innovative payment technologies.

“3V enables us to gain fast-track entry into the rapidly expanding prepaid card issuance vertical and will provide the foundation of what will become a significant new division within SafeCharge,” he explained.

“We are pleased that SafeCharge has selected our technology and talented team in order to deliver solutions to its extensive network of merchants and channels,” 3V CEO Kieron Guilfoyle added. “We are committed to the success of this acquisition and look forward to collaborating with the SafeCharge team.”

Established in 2004, 3V develops tools used for the issuing, processing and management of pre-paid card programmes. It has developed proprietary systems to support both physical and mobile-based open loop virtual cards, gift cards and virtual vouchers.

It is based in Dublin and employs 56 staff. For the year ending December 31st, 2013, it generated revenue of €2.9m and a net loss of €3.2m, with net assets of €2.6m.

Its technologies have been deployed in countries such as Canada, Germany, Spain and the UK, and it has managed pre-paid programmes for customers such as Visa Europe and mobile network operators including O2. These programmes include a virtual ticketing solution built for the 2012 London Olympics, and gift cards for UK supermarkets.

The company has also developed proprietary acquiring systems and technologies for online payments, with 3V looking to secure Electronic Money Institution status from the Central Bank of Ireland in 2015.

The deal is the second acquisition to be agreed by SafeCharge in December after it acquired Israeli payment provider CreditGuard for an initial cash consideration of US$8m.

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