File picture: Philimon Bulawayo
File picture: Philimon Bulawayo
JOHANNESBURG - Specialist financial services company Ecsponent has acquired an additional stake in Frankfurt-listed financial technology company MyBucks, the company said yesterday.

The group said it would buy 444000 shares through a private placement at 9 (R131.86) a MyBucks share. It said it secured an institutional funding line to settle the transaction in cash.

The acquisition, through the group’s wholly owned subsidiary, Ecsponent Botswana, will see Ecsponent’s stake in MyBucks increasing from 9.3percent to 12percent.

Ecsponent chief executive Terence Gregory said yesterday that the acquisition would increase the company’s asset base and bolster one of the core business units, Equity Holdings.

Gregory said the transaction aligned perfectly with the company’s investment strategy.

He said the financial technology industry was operating at the leading edge of innovation in the fourth industrial revolution.

“The (financial technology) business offers us great potential gains, because of the high barriers to entry, high profit and high intellectual property inherent in the industry,” Gregory said.

“MyBucks has experienced magnificent growth in its short lifespan, and operating in the high-growth emerging markets, primarily in Africa, the business is set to benefit from its strategy of bringing the informal sector closer to mainstream finance.

“We believe this will inevitably unlock substantial value for our shareholders.”

Gregory lauded the company’s financial performance in the past few years.

“Our sustained growth can be attributed to the consistent performance of our core business units: Investment Services, Business Credit and Equity Holdings.

“These core business assets are identifiable by the role they play in meeting our strategic objectives and their contribution to profits,” he said.

Ecsponent said the balance of the MyBucks private placement would substantially be taken up by vehicles related to Christian Angermayer, a German entrepreneur and owner of Apeiron Investment Group, and Gerd Alexander Schütz.

Schütz is the managing partner and founder of the asset manager C-Quadrat, chairperson of MyBucks and a member of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bank.

MyBucks has grown substantially since its inception in 2011 and has operations in 11 African countries, Australia and Poland.

Ecsponent shares on the JSE yesterday closed unchanged at 33cents a share.