Century Payments to buy National Merchant Solutions

Source: Austin Ventures

Austin Ventures ("AV"), one of the nation's leading venture and growth capital firms, and Century Payments Inc ("Century"), a payments services company funded by AV, today announced the acquisition of National Merchant Solutions ("NMS").

In January 2009, AV announced the formation of Century in partnership with AV CEO-in-Residence Robert Wechsler and the completion of three initial acquisitions. AV committed up to $50 million of equity capital to support management's strategy of additional acquisitions and organic growth. Following the acquisition, NMS employees will remain with Century and Mr. Wechsler will continue to lead Century as President and CEO.

NMS represents Century's fourth acquisition in four months and is part of its stated strategy to partner with strongly performing sales organizations led by proven managers. Management teams that join forces with Century will continue to drive their own sales organizations and will benefit from Century's infrastructure, relationships, and capital to significantly accelerate growth. Through organic growth, channel partnerships, and acquisitions like NMS, Century aims to establish a market-leading position in the small and medium-sized merchant acquiring space.

"The acquisition of NMS allows us to strengthen our regional footprint in the Southeast and further our goal of building a premiere, nationwide payments business," said Robert Wechsler. "We are pleased to have Michael Singleton, founder and CEO of NMS, join the Century team. Michael's steadfast dedication to strong growth and outstanding customer service make him a great fit with our efforts at Century," said Mr. Wechsler.

"NMS is excited about the opportunity to join Century and AV and to be a part of a rapidly growing, well-capitalized organization in the payments industry," said Michael Singleton, founder and CEO of NMS. "We are already starting to see the positive results from this combination, and our new account volume is up more than 50% between February and March," said Mr. Singleton.

AV's relationship with Mr. Wechsler is part of a stated strategy to partner with talented executives with proven track records to build growth companies in attractive markets. AV has a dedicated in-house talent function that identifies executives that want a hands-on partner in building their next business.

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