03 October 2022
Equals Group plc (AIM:EQLS), a leading fintech payments group focused on the SME marketplace, is pleased to announce that it has today completed the purchase of the remaining minority interests in Equals Connect Limited (‘Equals Connect’), for a potential total consideration of up to £3.43 million (‘Acquisition’).
On 19 November 2019, the Group announced that it acquired the entire share capital of Casco Financial Services Limited (‘Casco’) with the sellers retaining a 48 per cent. economic interest in Casco’s Infrastructure Services Business, the white-label business which was then renamed Equals Connect. Equals Connect now utilises the infrastructure of the Group to offer a white-label international payments platform to smaller Foreign Exchange brokers.
Since the acquisition of the initial interest, Equals Connect has been profitable and has undergone rapid growth. In the year ended 31 December 2021, it generated £7.7 million of revenue and £0.4 million of profit before taxation. In the six months ended 30 June 2022, the unaudited figures for Equals Connect were revenue of £7.2 million and profit before taxation of £0.44 million.
At 31 December 2021, Equals Connect had net assets of £0.7 million and at 30 June 2022 it had net assets of £1.1 million.
Total consideration for the minority stake in Equals Connect comprises:
The full consideration is being funded through the Group’s existing cash resources.
The two founder Directors of Equals Connect, Craig Granger and Jack Bryant, will remain with the business post the Acquisition. Due to Craig and Jack being directors of Equals Connect, a subsidiary of the Group, the Acquisition constitutes a related party transaction under AIM Rule 13. The Directors of the Company consider, having consulted with Canaccord Genuity Limited in its capacity as the Company's nominated adviser for the purposes of the AIM Rules, the terms of the Acquisition to be fair and reasonable insofar as the Company's shareholders are concerned.
There are no regulatory requirements related to the acquisition of the shares in Equals Connect.
Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of Equals Group plc, said: “We are delighted with the way in which Equals Connect has progressed as part of the Equals Group since the initial acquisition of Casco in November 2019 under the leadership of its founder, Craig Granger, and fellow founder shareholders Kane Granger and Jack Bryant. The Acquisition of the remaining shares shows our commitment to the business. With Craig taking on the role of Chairman of Equals Connect and Jack becoming Managing Director of Equals Connect as well as being Operations Director for Equals Group, we have a highly experienced team in place who will continue to oversee the exciting growth prospects of the Equals Connect business as we move forward.
“For the Group the Acquisition represents an immediately accretive utilisation of our surplus cash balances and is made possible by the strong performance of the Group this financial year which has continued during September.
“Our strategy is to offer platforms and products to the B2B customer segment both directly and also via white-label relationships utilising our extensive platform capabilities and this transaction marks another important step on this journey.”
This announcement contains inside information.
For more information, please contact:
Equals Group plc
Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7778 9308
Canaccord Genuity (Nominated Advisor / Broker)
Max Hartley / Georgina McCooke
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7523 8150
Buchanan (Financial Communications)
Henry Harrison-Topham / Steph Whitmore / Toto Berger
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000
Notes to Editors:
Equals Group is a technology-led international payments group augmented by highly personalised service for the payment needs of SME’s whether these be FX, card payments or via Faster Payments. Founded in 2007, the Group listed on AIM in 2014 and currently employs around 265 staff across sites in London and Chester. For more information, please visit www.equalsplc.com.