Cardtronics plants a flag in South Africa with Spark ATM acquisition

Cardtronics PLC has closed on its acquisition of Spark ATM Systems Proprietary Ltd.,  a move that marks the ATM giant's entry into the South African market. Cape Town-based Spark ATM is a fast-growing privately held IAD with a network of approximately 2,600 ATMs nationwide, a press release said.

“Spark ATM Systems is an innovative and highly respected ATM deployer, with relationships with leading banks in South Africa, making it a strong fit with Cardtronics," Cardtronics CEO Steve Rathgaber said in the release. "We are excited to broaden our global footprint into South Africa, with a management team that has built an impressive operating and technology platform.” 

Founded in 2005, Spark ATM expands Cardtronics’ global presence by adding an anchor market in Africa to the company's established operations in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

ATM penetration in South Africa is compared with Cardtronics’ two largest existing markets. However, consumer use of retail ATMs in South Africa is well-established, with nearly 80 percent of all ATMs located off-site from a bank branch, according to research firm RBR.

Spark ATM Systems will continue to operate under its current name, and the existing management team — including founders Marc Sternberg and Russel Berman — will continue in their current roles. The company's headquarters in Cape Town will be retained as Cardtronics’ African base of operations. 

“This is a major milestone for Spark and is a strong vote of confidence not only in our organization, but also in the growth potential of South Africa’s ATM market," Spark ATM Systems Managing Director Marc Sternberg said in the release. "We are excited about the synergies between Spark’s robust operating platform and proven sales engine, and the added capabilities and credibility that come with the world’s premier ATM services provider, Cardtronics. We look forward to further developing and capitalizing on these combined strengths to serve our existing customers, unlock new business opportunities and further expand the reach of ATMs in South Africa.”

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Spark ATM Systems was advised by Novitas Capital Advisors.

Topics: Distributors / ISO / IAD

Companies: Cardtronics

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