Investment from RMB Capital

25 October 2012 – Investment firm RMB Capital Partners (“RMB”), which manages funds sourced from the First Rand Group, is pleased to announce that it has lead the acquisition of a significant shareholding in Placard (“Placard” or the “Company”), a Melbourne based producer of secure transaction cards and associated services. RMB is partnering with the existing owner and management team of Placard, both of whom acquired significant minority shareholdings.

Placard holds leading positions across a diverse range of card markets including financial services, identification & licenses, healthcare and transport. The Company was founded in 1987 and produces over 90 million cards annually. Placard provides a one-stop-shop offering comprising card design, manufacture, personalisation and fulfilment. On the back of positive industry trends and solid management execution the business has doubled revenues over the last three years. Today the Company operates the only Australian based production facility that is accredited by all four major payment schemes and services a wide range of blue chip customers under multi-year contracts.

Placard earns the majority of its revenues from smart card business, which is driven by global improvements in chip technology and customer security requirements. The Company is the leading smart card provider in the Australian and New Zealand markets, providing smart cards for banks and other financial customers, driver’s licences, airline loyalty cards and integrated public transit ticketing.

Placard’s facility and plant is well invested to meet capacity growth and technological requirements in contactless and dual interface cards over next three to five years, with over $10m invested in the last six years.

Commenting on the transaction, Mark Summerhayes, Managing Director at RMB said:
“We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to invest in a market leading business with a strong value proposition and an experienced management team. There are some very exciting growth opportunities available to Placard, particularly in the smartcard segment, and we look forward to working with Ganesh and his team to capitalise on these as the business enters its next phase of development.”

Placard Chief Executive Officer, Ganesh Ganeshalingam, added:
“We are delighted to be working with RMB who enjoy a strong reputation for working in close partnership with businesses. RMB showed a deep understanding of our sector and we believe they are the right partner for us as we look to deliver on our plans.”

Mark Summerhayes and Magnus Hildingsson will be joining the Placard board on behalf of RMB, along with Steven Furman whose firm HighPoint Capital co-invested in the transaction. Highpoint raises its funding from high net worth investors who are looking to take positions in private equity deals.

RMB was advised by Freehills and Ernst & Young.

For more information please contact:
Mr Mark Summerhayes
Managing Director
RMB Capital Partners
+61 2 9256 6200

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