Australia’s EML Payments snaps up Irish fintech for £226m

11 Nov 2019

Noel Moran, CEO, Valerie Moran, head of operations, PFS. Image: PFS

EML Payments has snapped up Irish-founded Prepaid Financial Services in a string of acquisitions.

Brisbane-based EML Payments has entered into a bidding agreement to acquire Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) for an up-front value of £226m and an earn-out of up to £55m, subject to meeting certain earnings targets, according to Business News Australia.

The acquisition follows 18 months of smaller deals from EML Payments, the latest being the acquisition of UK-based Flex-e-Card for £21.6m.

“The acquisition of [PFS] continues to consolidate EML’s market position as one of the largest fintech enablers in digital banking and prepaid globally,” said EML Payments chief executive Tom Cregan.

“PFS is highly complementary to EML’s existing solutions suite and adds digital banking and multi-currency offerings to our existing suite, while expanding our global market footprint and ability to cross-sell PFS’s solutions.”

A year of growth for Prepaid Financial Services

In 2018, PFS reported more than €50m in revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of €6.2m, and commercial director Lee Britton hinted at a possible IPO.

‘PFS started life at a kitchen table and now we are so happy to be listed on the Australian stock exchange as a result of this transaction’

With bases in Ireland, the UK and Malta, PFS provides e-wallets, physical and virtual prepaid cards and accounts, and current accounts in both the UK and the Eurozone.

The fintech business has processed billions in payments and announced plans for expansion in March this year, followed swiftly by plans for a new fintech hub in Trim, Co Meath.

Before founding PFS in 2008, CEO Noel Moran cut his teeth in the Irish and UK banking sector with Permanent TSB, AIB, Lloyds Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland.

“PFS started life at a kitchen table and now we are so happy to be listed on the Australian stock exchange as a result of this transaction,” said Moran.

The Irish company leader expects the EML product suite will add to PFS’s capabilities and the combined global reach of the companies will further bring these services to clients worldwide.

PFS is currently active across 25 countries and its licence enables it to transact in more than 30 nations.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.