Banks hire Cameron Partners to look at Paymark after potential buyer emerges

Paymark CEO Mark Rushworth

New Zealand's four biggest lenders have hired investment bank Cameron Partners to run the ruler over electronic payments firm Paymark, which they jointly own.

ANZ Bank New Zealand, ASB Bank, Bank of New Zealand and Westpac Banking Corp appointed the investment bank to conduct a strategic review after receiving interest in their shares, Cameron Partners said in a statement on behalf of Paymark. The review is expected to take several months, but no decision on whether to sell has been made.

"No further statement will be made until the review is complete," Cameron Partners said. "Paymark will not be commenting on the shareholders' process."

Paymark generated profit of $12 million on sales of $52.4 million in the year ended March 31, 2015, according to its annual report filed with the Companies Office. The firm processes more than 1.1 billion payments a year, amounting to three quarters of the nation's electronic transactions.

The review comes as payment systems undergo rapid change around the world with the emergence of crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, online services provided by the likes of Apple, Google and Paypal, and near-field technology enabling contactless card and mobile device transactions.


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