BPS ringing in plan for Bartercard expansion

Media outlet: Gold Coast Bulletin
10th September 2014

Gold Coast-based global trade exchange business BPS Technology rang the bell on its entry to the stock exchange yesterday and unrolled the first plank of an aggressive expansion plan.

The newly listed company, which owns the world’s largest global trade exchange, Bartercard, plans to add 20 new regions each in the US and Britain within five years.

Chief executive Trevor Dietz said BPS was also on a global acquisition hunt for trade exchanges.

“There are more than 2000 trade exchanges around the world worth in excess of $20 billion a year, 400 in the United States alone”, he said.

“We are looking forward to having discussions with good quality exchanges with a view to their acquisition and roll up”.

The Southport-based BPS intends to roll-out TESS, its cloud-based software program, to trade exchanges globally, and expand its offering of Bucqui, a loyalty app for SMEs.

The IPO closed fully subscribed on August 28 through the issue of 28 million shares at $1 each.

The float valued the business at $58.5 million, with 30.5 million shares already on issue. BPS shares ended the day at 99c.

Mr Dietz said the company had made a “rock-solid” entry to the market.

He said the company had received strong backing from Australian and international institutional and retail investors and 450 individual investors.

“The public listings gives BPS an appropriate capital structure to pursue the company’s long-term growth strategy of expanding its existing operations in key markets, including the US and UK”, he said.

He said the highly fragmented nature of the global trade exchange market created opportunities through organic growth and targeted acquisitions.

The Bartercard business sells regional franchises, collecting a licence fee from operators.

Mr Dietz said they had sold two regions in the US and planned to have 20 regions, each with 15 franchises, in the next five years.

BPS has secured operators in the eastern US including Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland and is now focusing on the wider North American market.

BPS appointed franchise industry veteran Phillip Ciniglio as chief executive of Bartercard UK to lead the company’s growth strategy in its British and continental European operations.

Originally from Britain, Mr Ciniglio developed more than 40 franchise systems for brands including Donut King Australia.

In FY15, BPS is forecasting it will generate revenue of $51.6 million, a net profit of $6.5 million and pay a dividend of $7.25 a share.

Bartercard, which was launched on the Gold Coast in 1991, now has 75 offices across seven countries.

Its Australian arm was brought out in 2007 by its local management team – Mr Dietz, Brian Hall and Tony Wiese – in a deal worth $25.5 million.

The three went on to buy the international arm and will retain a 52 per cent stake in BPS Technology.