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Manx Financial agrees higher price for majority share in Payment Assist

By Josh White

Date: Wednesday 21 Sep 2022

Manx Financial agrees higher price for majority share in Payment Assist

(Sharecast News) - Manx Financial Group announced the completion of a majority interest in Payment Assist on Wednesday, for an increased consideration of £4.24m.
The AIM-traded firm first agreed to acquire the 50.1% interest on 16 May through its wholly-owned Manx Ventures subsidiary.

It said on Wednesday that it would now be able to consolidate 50.1% of Payment Assist's trading results and any dividend payable for the final quarter, and then thereafter until the remaining 49.9% was acquired, at which point Payment Assist would become fully integrated within the group.

Following discussions among Manx Ventures and the current shareholders of Payment Assist, being Neil Jeffrey, Colin Ellard, Spencer Wrench and Simon Bevan, the parties agreed to amendments to some of the acquisition terms.

Manx Financial said that included an increase in the consideration to £4.244m, from £4m.

It also included a two-year extension of the period that the joint venture would continue between Manx Ventures and the vendors, before Manx Ventures could choose to acquire the remaining 49.9% of Payment Assist.

The company confirmed that the option would now be exercisable after Payment Assist declared a dividend for the financial year ending 31 December 2026.

It said the other primary terms of the share purchase agreement and option deed remained as previously announced.

Payment Assist was founded by Jeffery and Ellard in 2013, to capitalise on the opportunity in the automotive sector to improve garage customer retention rates by providing a user-friendly method of enabling customers to spread payments over time.

The company said Payment Assist was granted its FCA permission in October 2014, adding that under the acquisition, Jeffery and Ellard will remain as directors of Payment Assist, whilst Douglas Grant, Denham Eke and James Smeed would join the board with immediate effect.

"We have worked with Payment Assist for over seven years through our banking subsidiary, Conister Bank," said Manx Financial chief executive officer Douglas Grant.

"During that time, we have developed an ever-closer relationship, so a joint venture was the natural next step to support Payment Assist achieve their growth ambitions."

Grant said Payment Assist's customer-focussed short-term lending products were "in great demand" during the pandemic, and were equally as relevant today during such uncertain economic times.

"This is a major acquisition for the group, not only in terms of deploying our liquidity safely, but also in continuing to progress our growth strategy."

At 0930 BST, shares in Manx Financial Group were down 1.82% at 8.1p.

Reporting by Josh White at Sharecast.com.

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