***European payments technology company Clear2Pay enters Asia Pacific region***
Brussels, 24 May 2004 - Clear2Pay, the international technology provider of next generation payment solutions for financial institutions has signed an agreement to acquire Sienna Technologies, a leading Asia Pacific-based company in electronic delivery and payment solutions, backed by one of Asia's leading venture capital firms, Technology Venture Partners (TVP). Sienna Technologies' payments products strongly complement the Clear2Pay next generation payment processing platform PayPark.
The Sienna products will enhance PayPark's component-based payment infrastructure for banks with components to service the full range of retail, SME, corporate and institutional clients. As a result, the Clear2Pay solutions will broaden the coverage of the full financial value chain from initiation to settlement of payments for high as well as low value payments for both domestic and cross-border transactions.
Sienna's blue chip client base in Australia includes National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANZ, St. George and Reserve Bank of Australia. Asian customers include BCS in Singapore, and Krung Thai Computer Services (KCS), part of Krung Thai Group in Thailand.
Michel Akkermans, Chairman and CEO of Clear2Pay, states: "Early on in our discussions with Sienna and TVP we discovered a remarkable synergy between our technology platforms, and more importantly, the vision and strategy towards which we are both building products. Financial services is a global industry and we works towards giving our internationally operating clients as much local expertise and support as we can. The Asia Pacific market is attractive to us for its size and for the quality of the business opportunities and solutions available. On top of that, our management team has a longstanding track record and experience in working with clients in that region, so it feels very natural to expand in that direction."
Jurgen Ingels, CFO of Clear2Pay adds: "This deal fits our strategy of careful and selective acquisitions in order to expand our global activities. By doing this we bring our customers a robust business partner as well as best-of-breed niche technology; our shareholders gain value in terms of growth which outperforms the market."
Warren Gardiner, Co-founder of Sienna comments: "Sienna has been active for nearly a decade supplying large financial institutions with technology for vital and core processes such as payments. This is a commitment to our clients which we do not take lightly, and we feel that with the acquisition by Clear2Pay we have a sensible and solid basis, both financially as well as in terms of industry expertise, to continue to invest in secure payments solutions and technology."
Phillip Wing, Chairman of Sienna and General Partner at TVP adds an additional perspective: "As a venture capitalist we see that companies that have managed themselves through the ICT downturn have emerged as stronger, more valuable businesses. This position enables them to look for growth partners at a time when investments in technology are beginning to increase and many financial institutions are pursuing growth strategies. In our discussions with Clear2Pay on Sienna we mutually agreed that we would generate more value for each of our shareholders by a collective effort in building capabilities and allocating scarce capital. A global strategy for the supply of leading technology in finance requires a medium to long term outlook in terms of human and financial capital; the merger with Clear2Pay will provide this platform for success so it made ultimate sense to fully merge the two companies."
Under the agreement, specifics of which will not be disclosed, Sienna will become a wholly owned business unit of Clear2Pay, named Clear2Pay Asia Pacific. Sienna's Warren Gardiner will be Vice President and General Manager Australasia. TVP's Philip Wing will join the Board of Clear2Pay.
- End of release -
Clear2Pay is an innovative e-finance company focused on delivering globally applicable solutions for secure, timely electronic payments. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, the company's focus is to facilitate banks and financial organizations in their provision of electronic payments services. Clients include global financial institutions such as ING, ABN AMRO, SEB Kort, LuottoKunta, VISA Europe and MasterCard. Clear2Pay operates out of Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore and currently employs over 100 staff. More information is available on www.clear2pay.com.
Sienna Technologies specializes in electronic service delivery solutions for the financial services industry. Sienna's areas of expertise include: Electronic business integration, Electronic statement delivery, Electronic payment processing, Clearing and settlement systems, Smartcard, EDI, and Consulting Services. Sienna will change its name to Clear2Pay Asia Pacific. www.sienna.com
About Technology Venture Partners (TVP)
TVP is the largest specialist technology venture capital firm in Australia. Its team has collectively over 100 years experience in the IT&C sector and has been investing in Australian IT&C companies since 1993. TVP manages over A$200 million in funds, including TVP#3; the largest IT&C fund raised in Australia ($144 million). www.tvp.com.au.
For more information:
Conny Dorrestijn - VP Marketing and Communications
Zikkelstraat 64, 1970 Brussels (Wezembeek Oppem), Belgium
M: +31 651 067201
Published on: 12:00AM on 24th May 2004