Company briefs: Nera Telecommunications

Nera Telecommunications

Nera Telecommunications is proposing to sell its payment solutions business to Paris-based Ingenico Group for $88 million.

The telecoms and infocomm network firm said it expects to record a disposal gain of about $71.5 million from the deal, and intends to return "a significant portion of the net proceeds" to shareholders.

"The offer by Ingenico represents an attractive opportunity for us to unlock shareholder value and sharpen our focus on our core network solutions business," Nera president and chief executive Samuel Ang said in a statement yesterday.

The payment solutions business accounted for 26 per cent of Nera's total revenue of $181.5 million and 21 per cent of its total earnings of $13.4 million in the 2015 financial year. It added that Asia Systems, which holds a 53.38 per cent stake, has given "an irrevocable undertaking to vote in favour" of the proposed deal.

Ingenico's offer represents 35 per cent of Nera's market capitalisation of $251.5 million as at the close of trading on May 19.

Mr Philippe Lazare, chairman and chief executive of Ingenico Group, said: "The acquisition will further strengthen Ingenico's relationships with banks and retail merchants in South-east Asia and will enhance the deployment of Ingenico's entire product range in the region using Nera payment solution's extensive distribution and services network."

Ingenico is a Euronext-listed company with market cap of about €6 billion (S$9.3 billion), and is the world's largest player in the payment solutions segment.

Boustead Projects

Real estate solutions provider Boustead Projects posted a 31 per cent decline in its fourth-quarter net profit to $5.4 million despite recording a substantial jump in revenue.

Turnover for the three months ended March 31 rose 22 per cent to $59.4 million.

For the full year, the firm said net profit was down by 7 per cent to $22.9 million on revenue of $255.5 million, which was unchanged from the previous year.

It attributed the earnings fall largely to the "challenging and competitive industrial real estate business landscape, higher overhead and finance expenses, and greater share of loss of an associated company and joint ventures".

Quarterly earnings per share was 1.7 cents, down from 2.4 cents a year earlier.

Net asset value per share as at March 31 was 60.6 cents, compared with 79 cents a year earlier.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2016, with the headline 'CompanyBriefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe