EML Payments' next acquisition one step closer after UK approval

EML Payments' next acquisition one step closer after UK approval

EML Payments' (ASX: EML) $108.6 million acquisition of the European company behind open banking brand Nuapay has crossed a crucial hurdle after the deal was approved by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after the close of trading on Friday.

The British regulatory green light is one of two required for the takeover to get over the line, with the other still pending from France's Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority ('ACPR' for its French acronym).

"EML has not yet received change of control approval from the ACPR, but is assisting the ACPR in its consideration of that request," the Brisbane-based company stated in an ASX update today.

"Accordingly, completion of the acquisition of Sentenial remains subject to that condition being satisfied. We presently expect the acquisition to complete in the first quarter of FY22 and will update the market further in due course."

EML intends to issue $48.2 million worth of new shares to help fund the transaction, in addition to more than $60 million in cash and a further $62.1 million earn-out component.

The company notes today's announcement is made in the context of ongoing dialogue between its subsidiary PFS Card Services Ireland Pty Ltd and the Central Bank of Ireland over significant regulatory concerns over the company's anti-money laundering processes. 

The group's shares dropped sharply on 19 May when EML revealed further details regarding the Irish watchdog's concerns, most notably that regulatory action could potentially affect more than a quarter of its global revenue.

The EML share price has recovered almost 10 per cent since then, but at $3.645 per share it is still 38 per cent short of highs achieved in April after the Sentenial deal was announced.

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