When Toronto's Davis and Henderson agreed to spend almost $1.3 billion for Fundtechthe Canadian company's ninth and largest acquisitionit addressed its need not merely for global diversification, but also for a much more streamlined payments technology strategy.
The acquisition, announced March 30, was motivated by two trends. The rapid movement toward various new payment approaches (primarily EMV and mobile in the U.S.) was an important factor, but D+H executives argued that this shift is overshadowed by structural changes in banking.
The company painted an urgent picture in the materials it submitted to Canadian securities officials: "The consolidation in banking has led to multiple, disparate and often outdated systems. This complicates the adoption and integration of new payment origination channels. Unless addressed, (this) forces higher operating expenses for banks and limits opportunities to expand scale and efficiency."
Banks "need to move in a much more effective and efficient way," said Carrie Russell, D+H's chief marketing officer, in an interview. "The infrastructure really needs to be optimized."
With each acquisition, D+H becomes more global and thus more sensitive to the differing needs of each region in which it operates. D+H became a U.S. payments provider with its $1.2 billion purchase of Harland Financial Solutions in 2013. Prior to the Harland deal, D+H received just eight percent of its total revenue from the U.S.; it estimated that number to rise to 36% upon absorbing Harland. Its earlier U.S. operations (also fed by acquisition) focused on commercial lending origination and credit risk analytics technology.
D+H executives stressed globalization as a key reason for the Fundtech acquisition, pointing to the additional international customers that Fundtech is bringing. The U.S. acquisition interestingly will have no impact on the percentage of revenue coming from the U.S. (it will remain at about 44 percent both before and after), but the percentage from Canada will drop from 56 percent to 45 percent.
Why? That is to account for 1,000 new customers coming from Fundtech, which will move the percentage of D+H revenue from EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and APAC (Asia-Pacific)both of which are zero prior to this acquisitionto eight percent (EMEA) and three percent (APAC). That will boost global D+H revenue from $1.16 billion to $1.45 billion.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, subject to regulatory approval, the companies said.
This deal brings a lot of larger American companies to D+H. In a presentation to investors, D+H CEO Gerrard Schmid described his company's current U.S. clients as "primarily small- to medium-sized" financial players. Fundtech delivers what he dubbed "an attractive blue chip customer base" including "190 of the top 300 U.S. banks, nine of the top 10 U.S. banks and 32 of the top 50 global banks."