Nera to sell payment solutions business for $88m, return 'significant' portion of net proceeds to shareholders

SINGAPORE - Mainboard-listed Nera Telecommunications is selling its payment solutions business to France-based Ingenico Group, the world's largest payment acceptance network, for S$88 million.

In a statement on Friday (May 20), Nera said it has entered into a conditional share sale agreement with Ingenico which will result in the sale of the company's entire payment solutions business across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Nera expects to record a disposal gain of approximately S$71.5 million and, subject to legal and contractual restrictions, it intends to return a significant portion of the net proceeds from the sale to its shareholders.

Said Samuel Ang, president & CEO of Nera: "The offer by Ingenico represents an attractive opportunity for us to unlock shareholder value and sharpen our focus on our core network solutions business, in line with our strategic objective of streamlining our business activities."

Based on Nera's 2015 financial year, the payment solutions business accounted for approximately 26 per cent of the company's total revenue of S$181.5 million and approximately 21 per cent of its total earnings of S$13.4 million. Ingenico's offer of S$88 million represents 35 per cent of Nera's market capitalization of S$251.5 million as at close of trading on May 19.

The proposed transaction is subject to approval by Nera shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting scheduled to be held in the third quarter. Asia Systems Ltd, controlled by the Northstar Group and which owns approximately 53.38 per cent of Nera, has executed an irrevocable undertaking to vote in favour of the proposed transaction.