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FairFX acquires HermexFX

Source: Equals Group

Equals Group PLC, the e-banking and international payments group, is pleased to announce that its subsidiary, FairFX plc, has acquired the International Payments business of Hermex International Limited (“HermexFX”), part of the FXPro Group, for a total consideration of £2 million, payable in cash on completion (the “Acquisition”).

HermexFX offers international payment services to a predominantly corporate client base through a personalised service offering. The Acquisition will complement the Group’s strategy to develop its fast-growing corporate segment, providing additional corporate clients and cross-selling opportunities for the expanding range of products through their existing sales channels. The Group’s technology, combined with its expertise in compliance, operations and settlements, means the integration of the HermexFX business into the Group can be achieved efficiently.

The Acquisition is made in accordance with the Group’s strategy to consolidate smaller, attractive market participants. It is expected to be immediately earnings enhancing. In addition, the Acquisition fits with one of Equals’ stated core strategies of extracting value from increasing economies of scale.

Concurrently with the Acquisition, Kyrillos Kyriacou, the current CEO and founder of HermexFX, has joined the Equals Group as an employee and has agreed to subscribe £1 million, for 851,063 new ordinary shares of 1p each in the Company (“Subscription Shares”) at an issue price of £ 1.175 per share. The Subscription Shares are subject to a two year lock-in period followed by an orderly market provision.

Furthermore, the Company announces an issue of equity pursuant to a recent exercise of employee share options over 33,333 new ordinary shares of 1p each (“Option Shares”).

The Company has applied for the Subscription Shares and Option Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM ("Admission"). It is expected that Admission will take place at 8.00 a.m. on 14 August 2019. Following Admission, the Company will have 165,202,079 ordinary shares of 1p each in issue admitted to trading on AIM. This figure,165,202,079, may be used by Shareholders as the denominator for the calculation by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, the Company under the Financial Conduct Authority's Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.

For the 12 months to 30 June 2019, the subject of the Acquisition generated revenue of £1.8 million and would have contributed £0.6 million to PBT. As at 30 June 2019, the subject of the Acquisition had gross assets of £0.2million (excluding the fair value of intangible assets and goodwill).

Ian Strafford-Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, commented: "This acquisition further demonstrates the ambition of the Group to be a dominant force in the payments market. Utilising our proprietary technology and outstanding operations teams we are able to absorb businesses like HermexFX extremely efficiently. The acquisition also shows our commitment to pursuing our strategy of achieving cost efficiencies through scale. We are delighted to have attracted such a high quality, service-led business with an excellent client base, and we welcome the team from HermexFX to the Equals family.”

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