Intrepid Global Imaging 3D (IGLB.OB) today reported that it signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the stock of the leading smartcard company in the Philippines, First Versatile Smartcard Solutions Corporation (Versacard), a private Filipino company solely owned by MacKay Group Limited (MKG), a Hong Kong company.
Versacard is strategically placed to be a leader in the Global "Smartcard/ Cashless Revolution." It provides an electronic payment system and central clearing house using a pre-paid contactless cash card that will be used first in the Philippines for transactions and purchases permeating virtually every aspect in the lives of over 91 million Filipinos. As the focal point of its 7 million card launch year one, Versacard will be the exclusive smartcard provider for Filipino Mass Transit Systems. It will be used to pay for tickets for the Filipino public transit system (The Light Rail Transit Authority, The Metro Rail Transit Authority, buses, subways, ferries, taxis), which the majority of the Filipinos use to go to work and elsewhere, and which the Filipino Government is expanding in the next few years to be one of the modern and largest public transit systems in Asia. Versacard will also be used to pay for tolls on major Filipino highways (the North and South Luzon Highway). Having forged strategic alliances with leading Filipino banking, credit card, telecommunications, retail/shopping, and food establishments, Versacard will also be used to pay for purchases at countless convenience stores, fast-food outlets, gas stations, drugstores, supermarkets, vending machines, and other commercial establishments throughout the Philippines as well as to pay phone, utility and other bills. Discussions are taking place to use Versacard for government identification cards for government, military, and civilian workers; student Identification cards for school systems; and employee identification cards for leading banking, credit card, and other institutions. Versacard will also team up with leading credit card companies to provide an "all-in-one" card utilizing both Versacard's and the credit card company's systems. With the "all-in-one" card, transactions under a certain amount will automatically be applied against Versacard with the higher amount transaction being applied against the credit card.
Versacard's counterparts in Hong Kong and Singapore, Octopus and EZ Link, grossed over $3.7 and $1.1 billion in sales in 2006 respectively based on populations of 14 and 6 million. In comparison, the population of Manila itself is over 14 million with the total population of the Philippines exceeding 91 million. Based on current vendor arrangements, Versacard has prepared the following projections over the next 5 years in the following graph:
| ||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4||Year 5|
|Number of cards||7 million||11 million||13 million||13.5 million||14 million|
|Gross Revenues/year||$24,232,505 ||$53,307,930||$72,532,748||$89,264,066||$120,651,449|
Significantly, the above projections do not include potential arrangements being discussed about national identification cards for government workers or students or about the lucrative Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) market. Many Filipinos work overseas and must routinely send money home. There are approximately 7 Million OFWs, who are projected in 2007 to send home approximately $14 Billion in cash remittances. Versacard is working with leading banking institutions which handle the accounts for significant percentages of the OFW market. Initial independent valuations Versacard has secured based solely on the Filipino market estimate the fair value of Versacard's business at over $569 Million.
From its foundation in the Philippines, Versacard is working to expand throughout the remainder of Asia (China, India, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore), setting up for further expansion to the rest of the world. It has strategic relationships with world leaders in the development and supply of integrated fare management and software systems for the transit industry, which have set up systems in cities throughout the world. Certain of the leading telecommunications companies Versacard is working with in the Philippines have significant operations and customer bases outside the Philippines. Under inter-operational arrangements, Versacard can also be used in the Octopus and EZ-Link rail and transit systems in Hong Kong and Singapore. Versacard is also working with leading government and industry leaders to provide smartcards for the Macau Casino Industry with possible expansion into the U.S. Casino Industry. Discussions are also taking place with leading entities in the sports and entertainment industry in Europe including European soccer.
Company CEO, William R. Dunavant, said: "For some time, the company had been searching for the right business to acquire and vend into the company. The relationships Versacard and the MacKay Group have forged in the Philippines and other parts of Asia are tremendous. With its business model, technology and potential upside Versacard was precisely the type of business opportunity we were looking for IGLB and its shareholders."