Verifone spends $70m on Eftpos acquisition in NZ push

VeriFone Systems, the New York Stock-exchange listed payments firm, spent $70 million to snap up ANZ New Zealand Bank's eftpos terminal leasing unit as part of a bigger push into the local market.

The San Jose, California-based company completed the acquisition of Eftpos New Zealand this week, and disclosed the size of the deal in its first-half earnings result.

The deal makes VeriFone the biggest eftpos solutions and payments provider in New Zealand, and follows its $US8.2 million acquisition of Sektor Group's local payments operation in December.

The two deals "provide us with the software, services infrastructure and distribution resources necessary to serve New Zealand with both electronic payment solutions and managed services", VeriFone says in its report.

VeriFone incorporated a local company in November last year and holds an 18 percent stake in mobile financial services software maker Mobilis Networks via a Bermuda-based limited partnership, according to Companies Office records.

Earlier this week, VeriFone Australia and New Zealand general manager Anthony ChalhoubĀ said the company's local presence "reflects the importance and opportunities of the expanding electronic payments market in the country".

The global payments firm reported a net loss of $US46.5 million in the six months ended April 30, with a 4.1 percent fall in sales to $US855 million. In March, long-serving VeriFone chief executive Douglas Bergeron stepped down a week after the company said it was looking at ways to address its declining revenues.

Its shares dropped 4.9 percent to $US21.95 yesterday and have shed 22 percent this year. The stock is rated an average 'hold' based on 18 analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters, with a median target price of $US24.


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