VeriFone Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: PAY) announced today that it is co-lead investor in a reverse merger financing for Trunkbow International Holdings Ltd., a Jinan, People's Republic of China-based mobile payments and value-added service applications company.
VeriFone invested $5.0 million of the approximately $22.5 million raised, giving VeriFone a pro-forma fully diluted ownership stake of 8.6%. The transaction values the company at a post-money valuation of $65.0 million. Albert Liu, VeriFone senior vice president and general counsel, will join Trunkbow's board of directors effective today.
Additionally, Trunkbow announced that VeriFone has been named the preferred supplier of payment systems technology to Trunkbow and has awarded VeriFone with an initial order to supply wireless payment solutions, including the CDMA-based Nurit 8000.
Douglas G. Bergeron, VeriFone CEO, said: "It is clear that mobile phones are increasingly playing an active role in the initiation of payment transactions, both within the existing payments infrastructure and also with telecommunications carriers like China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. VeriFone's investment in Trunkbow provides us with a seat at the table for cell phone payments in the world's largest cell phone market."
The Chinese mobile phone market is the world's largest with over 700 million mobile subscribers. According to Wall Street analysts, Mobile payments and banking in China will grow to a $5.4 billion dollar industry by 2013, up from approximately $440 million in 2009.
Trunkbow was founded in 2001 and is a leading provider of technology platform solutions in China that enable telecom service providers to deploy mobile value-added service applications for their subscribers. In 2009, Trunkbow began rolling out its mobile payments platform initially throughout the province of Shandong with one of the large China telecom carriers and plans similar deployments throughout multiple provinces with multiple telecom carriers. Together, Trunkbow and its telecom partners expect to deploy approximately 125,000 mobile payment terminals integrated with Trunkbow's 2.4 GHz Near-Field Communications (NFC) technology over the next 3 years.
VeriFone currently employs over 80 professionals in China and is the largest provider of payment systems in China.
Merriman Curhan Ford & Co., a San Francisco based investment bank, acted as the lead placement agent for the Trunkbow transaction.