With capital in excess of €100 million, BlackFin Capital Partners is rolling‐out its investment strategy with a second deal, the acquisition of Moneo. This follows the acquisition (in November 2010) of a stake in insurance services company Owliance.
Laurent Bouyoux, Chairman of BlackFin Capital Partners, comments: “This second investment deal confirms the relevance of BlackFin’s investment strategy, positioning ourselves as the financial partner of choice for financial services SMEs and their management teams.”
The deal, approved by the ACP (Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel) in November, consists of BlackFin Financial Services Fund acquiring 100% of Moneo’s share capital via two legal entities, BMS and Société Financière du Porte‐Monnaie Electronique Interbancaire (SFPMEI).
This investment will enable Moneo to step up its expansion by giving it the means to continue to establish itself as a key player in the multi‐services payment solutions market. The banks will support Moneo’s new strategy and thereby strengthen their commercial partnership with France’s only electronic interbank payment solution for the general public, by continuing to offer electronic wallet services to their retail, merchant and institutional clients.
At a time when the market is expecting strong growth in electronic micro‐payments of 58% a year over the period from 2007‐12, this agreement will give Moneo the means to step up its expansion, while also strengthening its governance and focusing its efforts on equipment for major clients such as local authorities, government organisations, hospitals and transport providers.
Moneo’s payment solutions are already widely used at university campuses ‐ with 1.5 million cards and two out of three students holding a Moneo card ‐ local authorities ‐ with 75 towns accepting Moneo for parking, and one in two parking meters using Moneo ‐ and in a growing number of large businesses and government organisations.
With its increased resources and new ambitions, Moneo is establishing its position as a key player in the electronic micro‐payments market and an expert in digital payment technologies, vital to the emergence of the digital economy.
BMS ‐ Moneo ‐ designs, develops and operates French electronic wallet solution Moneo. Moneo benefits from a market‐leading position among all members of the economy charging for goods and services in small amounts (micro‐payments), such as public authorities, universities and student organisations, major retailers, ticket machine operators and restaurants.
With over 1.2 million payments per week, Moneo is currently the fastest‐growing payment solution in France, with growth of 25% a year. Moneo is market leader in contactless payments in France, with over 500,000 holders of BMS2 new‐generation contactless cards.
SFPMEI (Société Financière du Porte‐Monnaie Electronique Interbancaire), which was licensed as a financial institution in 1999, issues and manages electronic money. Its role is to guarantee the e‐money contained in Moneo electronic wallets issued by all French banks for both card holders and merchants, and to manage outstanding amounts and financial clearing. As part of its regulatory obligations, SFPMEI is responsible for the security of the Moneo system and for its banking oversight on a day‐to‐day basis.
The investment strategy of the fund managed by BlackFin Capital Partners is to acquire influential stakes in SMEs in the financial services sector ‐ in areas such as brokerage, asset management, insurance brokerage, services and payments ‐ both in France and in continental Europe.
BlackFin Capital Partners’ aim is to capitalise on market conditions shaped by the financial crisis, to invest and work with business owners and managers in the financial services sector to help them to make the most of the opportunities offered by the sector, in particular:
growing use of outsourcing by financial institutions; the development of selling of banking and insurance products on the internet; consolidation in asset management and insurance brokerage.
BlackFin Capital Partners is an independent private equity firm managed by its four founders. Chairman Laurent Bouyoux was previously a senior principal at Aquiline Capital Partners, leaving to set up BlackFin Capital Partners with Eric May and Paul Mizrahi, with whom he founded ProCapital ‐ Fortuneo, the leading securities services and online brokerage company, and with Bruno Rostain, former Chief Executive Officer of Aviva France.