Cardpoint and Alphyra in merger talks - report

Cardpoint and Alphyra in merger talks - report

Cardpoint, the UK's largest ATM operator, is in discussions with Irish electronic payments firm Alphyra regarding a £450 million merger, according to weekend press reports.

The deal would see AIM-listed Cardpoint issuing new shares to buy the larger privately-owned Alphyra, according a report by UK newspaper The Mail on Sunday.

Speculation of a potential merger between the two firms has been mounting in recent months since Alphyra's owner, private equity group Balderton Capital, put its 67% stake in the business up for sale earlier this year. Private equity firms Providence and General Atlantic were also reported to be interested in acquiring the Alphyra business.

Cardpoint has also been involved in its own takeover talks with un-named suitors during the past year, but all approaches have been rejected, including a potential cash offer of 100 pence per share. Last week's closing price for Cardpoint stock was 94.00 pence.

Cardpoint founder Mark Mills left the business last October after two profit warnings following the firm's acquisition of Moneybox in 2005. Bob Thian, head of Southern Water, took over the business as chairman.

Since then Cardpoint has been selling off parts of the company in order to focus on its ATM business. The vendor sold its G2 Integrated Solutions (G2IS) business, which provides card-based payment and access control systems, to Group 4 Technology in October 2006 and also its mobile top-up business to merger target Alphyra earlier this year.

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