Posted on August 23, 2018 by staff

Manchester’s ThinkSmart sells FinTech in £10m deal


Manchester-based digital payments firm ThinkSmart Europe has sold its recently launched ClearPay Finance business in a deal worth around £10.5 million.

Formally launched in March 2018, ClearPay allows retailers to offer customers the ability to make purchases of up to £450 at the point of sale and spread the cost over three interest-free monthly payments.

ThinkSmart, which employs around 100 people at its base in Old Trafford and also has an office in Australia, has sold 90 per cent of ClearPay’s share capital to fast-growing Australian company AfterPay Touch Group.

The company is being acquired in exchange for 1 million shares in AfterPay, currently valued at approximately AUD$18.5 million (£10.5m).

Meanwhile, ThinkSmart is retaining the remaining 10 per cent shareholding in the company to be made available to ClearPay employees under an employee share ownership plan.

Executive chairman Ned Montarello said: “The board is pleased to crystallise a significant return on investment for shareholders with the sale of 90 per cent of ClearPay, while still retaining an ongoing investment in what, in our view is the leading player in this sector globally, having recently successfully entered the US market.

“AfterPay’s product, ongoing success and go to market strategy is compelling and we are delighted to now be a part of this story.

“In a market three times the size of Australia the acquisition of ClearPay will assist AfterPay in becoming the dominant player in the UK market with the potential for significant growth over the next five years.”

AfterPay is acquiring ClearPay’s corporate identity, including its contracts with relevant service providers and key employees with local knowledge of the UK market.

Existing retailers and customers currently using ClearPay’s system will be given the chance to move to AfterPay’s global platform, which is expected to be launched in the UK within the next six months.

In a statement on the London Stock Exchange, ThinkSmart Europe said it will continue to operate its existing core credit and leasing business, and to invest in its digital payments solution SmartCheck.