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ID Data acquired by TALL Group

Thursday 14 January 2010

The TALL Group of Companies, which comprises TALL Security Print Limited of Runcorn, Cheshire, UK and Checkprint Limited of Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK is a major British provider of specially printed cheques, credits, encoded documents and secure payment solutions. The Group enjoys longstanding contractual relationships with many UK and International Banks and Financial Institutions, including Barclays, RBS Group, HBOS, HSBC, Nationwide Building Society etc.

The acquisition of ID Data, which operates from MasterCard and APACS accredited premises in Petersfield, Hampshire, UK, substantially broadens the scope of the TALL Group, enhancing the existing paper and electronic payments products and services with a full range of secure payment cards, retail, identity and access cards and card payments technology services. The TALL Group of Companies currently turns over around GBP 10 million (EUR 11.11 million) and has been significantly and consistently profitable over many years. ID Data employed 75 staff at the time of acquisition, all of whom will be taken on the Tall Group. ID Data brings with it a turnover of GBP 5 to 6 million (EUR 5.11 to 6.66 million).

ID Data, founded in 1988, is one of the well known card suppliers in Europe and is the largest supplier of smart cards to Government departments in the UK. However, the company has experienced some changes over the last couple of years.  In 2008, the ID Data Limited, the core unit of the ID Data Group, went under administration, as a result of being affected by the credit crunch (cf. Smart Insights Weekly 08-43). AT that time, ID Data had been threatened with a winding up order by the UK Inland Revenue after a missed tax payment. ID Data owed about GBP 1 million (EUR 1.11 million) in back taxes. At the same time, the company started a search for new investors to sustain the business. ID Data was seeking to raise between GBP 2 and 3 million (EUR 2.22 to 3.33 million), via the issue of debt, equity or a combination of the two, in order to meet its short term working capital and debt funding requirements and fund future expansion. The company was also considering selling some parts of the group. The credEcard pre-paid card unit was sold in 2008 to Contis Group for GBP 2.2 million (EUR 2.44 million) (cf. SIW #08-14).

Then, in 2009, the business and assets of ID Data were purchased by Card Data Management Limited. Card Data Management Limited (CDML), was a special purpose investment company focusing on the card services industry and backed by funds provided by Carl Pauwels an international banking specialist; Peter Cox, the founder of ID Data and a Singapore based investment fund. The three parties have together acquired the business. Peter Cox, the founder and CEO of the company remained as head of ID Data. Tti Card Technology, a joint venture by ID Data (43%), Toshiba Corporation (43%) and Toppan Printing Company (14%) providing development, support and market solutions for smart card schemes, was not part of the agreement.

At the end of 2009, ID Data went into administration again with Tenon Recovery.

Now, The business and assets of Card Data Management Limited, which trades as ID Data, have been acquired by The TALL Group of Companies. Tall Group, was ,so far, positioned as a leading provider of special cheque products and services. This acquisition will allow to add electronic payment solutions to the company’s offer. The acquisition brings a range of secure payment cards, retail, identity and access cards, as well as card payment technology services to the Tall Group.