Net Element to acquires Unified Payments

Source: Net Element

Net Element International (NASDAQ: NETE), a technology-driven group specializing in electronic commerce and mobile payment processing, and Unified Payments, a leading provider of transaction processing services and payment-enabling technologies that was recognized by Inc. Magazine as the fastest-growing private company in the U.S. in 2012, today announced that they have entered into a binding term sheet for Net Element International to acquire Unified Payments and operate it through its newly formed subsidiary and holding company, TOT, Inc. (TOT).

The acquisition is expected to position and diversify Net Element International's TOT Money business and expand its global presence in the payments market. When the acquisition has been completed, Net Element International plans to aggressively begin deploying Unified Payments' products and services in Russia and other emerging markets, while Unified Payments provides a strong foundation of recurring revenues in the U.S.

Both companies consider the acquisition a major win-win that will create a strong, driven and innovative force in the mobile and transaction processing markets. Their robust global networks and top-tier business relationships, combined with their shared commitment to payment technology innovation, are expected to help Net Element International spread its technology and business to a broader range of users in Russia and other emerging markets while expanding and diversifying its business base in North America.

"We became motivated to acquire Unified Payments after learning about its remarkable success, as it is very rare to see a young company with such an impressive growth track record," said Net Element International Chairman Kenges Rakishev, himself a noted global business leader and strategic technology investor named one of the 50 most influential people in Kazakhstan. "This acquisition is extremely synergistic, as Net Element will leverage its deep industry relationships in Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States markets to introduce Unified Payment's unique business model and technologies in these growth markets. Indeed, the combination of these two cutting-edge companies resulting in the formation of TOT is expected to build a strong, technology-driven company in the global mobile and transaction processing markets."

Oleg Firer, co-founder and executive chairman of Unified Payments, echoed Rakishev's enthusiasm: "Unified Payments shares Net Element International's vision to energize and enhance the world of payment processing. I am excited to lead our team to bring the best, most compelling technologies to our focus markets. There are enormous opportunities in Russia and other emerging markets, and we are well-positioned to implement our products and services in these high-growth markets."

Plans call for appointing Firer to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Net Element International, with Steven Wolberg joining Net Element International as Chief Legal Officer, and Tim Greenfield, Net Element International's president of mobile commerce and payment processing, becoming President of Corporate Development. Ivan Onuchin will remain as Chief Technology Officer and Jonathan New will remain as Chief Financial Officer. Francesco Piovanetti, Net Element International's current Chief Executive Officer, will become a consultant to the company. These changes in management of Net Element International are expected to take place following closing of Net Element International's proposed acquisition of Unified Payments.

The terms of the proposed acquisition are disclosed in Net Element International's Form 8-K filed with the SEC today.

The proposed acquisition is subject to Net Element International's satisfactory completion of due diligence, the execution of an acquisition agreement and ancillary agreements and documents satisfactory to the parties, and other customary closing conditions.

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