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Cardpoint plc, (“Cardpoint” or “the Company”), an owner and operator of an estate of 188 independent cash machines (ATMs) in the UK, announces its intention to raise £2.5 million via an institutional placing and to seek admission of its shares to trading on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange. Dealings are expected to commence on AIM in June 2002.


Cardpoint and its subsidiaries (“the Group”) operate in the growing independent ATM market, which has benefited from demands for more conveniently located cash machines, the emergence of internet banking with no established point of presence and the closure of bank branches due to consolidation in the banking industry. These factors have created a significant market opportunity for independent ATM operators, which in 2001 installed 74 per cent of the 3,666 new ATMs in the UK, whilst banks and building societies reduced the growth of ATM deployment away from branches (“Remote ATMs”) to the lowest level in ten years.


The Group focuses on identifying sites where there is potential for high transaction volumes and which are in areas not traditionally serviced by other ATM providers. Approximately 70 per cent of the Group’s ATMs are deployed with corporate customers such as Welcome Break and MOTO. In addition, it has a number of large single site customers, including shopping centres, NHS hospitals and army barracks where it is inconvenient for customers to leave a site purely to withdraw cash from an alternative ATM.


Cardpoint’s Chief Executive, Mark Mills, founded the Group in 1999 after extensive research in the ATM market. He identified a gap in the UK market for the provision of internal freestanding ATMs in locations, which could generate significant transaction volumes but did not necessarily meet the deployment criteria of a bank or building society. This led to assembling a management team with substantial experience in starting, developing and operating businesses with multi-site deployment, which is well placed to maximise the potential of the independent ATM market.


The Group undertakes detailed due diligence of the sites where it installs ATMs, familiarising itself with customers’ and visitors’ profiles and analysing footfall and/or turnover. In addition, the Group’s cash in transit provider completes independent site security reviews. When the Group installs an ATM, it retains responsibility for the ownership and management of the ATM. ATMOS, which processes all transactions at the ATM, provides the Group with detailed daily transaction reports enabling it to monitor an ATM’s performance and effectively manage the supply chain. Bank notes are supplied by Girobank and transported by Securicor.


Customers withdrawing cash from the Group’s ATMs are given the option to accept a withdrawal fee of typically £1.50. If accepted, the requested cash is issued and the total cost, including the withdrawal fee, is debited from the user’s bank account. The Group receives an additional 19.4p from the customer’s bank if a balance enquiry is made, or if a card issuer rejects a cash withdrawal.



Each withdrawal fee is transferred for the benefit of the Group on the next banking day, producing regular daily income with no bad debts. Feedback from site hosts has shown that the presence of a well-positioned and signposted ATM can increase footfall and that a proportion of the cash withdrawn from an ATM is spent in and around the immediate retail environment.



Mark Mills said: “Cardpoint has a proven business model as demonstrated by the fact that we dispensed over £7.0 million in April 2002 at the average rate of one transaction every 10 seconds. This high volume is achieved by placing our machines in prime locations where high street banks do not have a presence, but where the demand for convenient cash is extremely strong.



The monies raised will enable the Company to draw down up to £3 million of a £5 million debt facility provided by the Bank of Scotland and the combined funds will be used to finance the roll out of a further 250 ATMs to meet demand already identified from new and existing customers.”



Beeson Gregory is both Nominated Advisor and Broker to the Company.



Enquiries:



Mark Mills, Chief Executive Officer
Cardpoint plc
Tel: +44 (0) 1253 785 808
mark.mills@cardpointplc.com

http://www.cardpointplc.com http://www.fcmplc.com




Mike Brennan / Henry Turcan
Beeson Gregory Limited
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7488 4040
mbrennan@beeson-gregory.co.uk
mailto:slane@collins-stewart.com


http://www.beeson-gregory.com http://www.collins-stewart.com



Media enquiries:

Henry Harrison-Topham / Ariane Vacher
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7444 4140
Bankside Consultants Limited
Mob: +44 (0) 7771 663 887
henry.ht@bankside.com
http://www.bankside.com


Photography


Soft JPEG copies of photographs of Mark Mills (Chief Executive Officer) and Peter Smyth (Chairman) are available from Bankside Consultants. To arrange, please contact Ariane Vacher on +44 (0) 20 7444 4140 or ariane.vacher@bankside.com


Notes to editors


Cardpoint will be the first UK quoted independent ATM deployer (IAD)


The Group’s ATMs can achieve profitability when deployed at a location with much lower transactional volumes than might otherwise be required by a bank or building society. The capital cost of stand-alone machines used by the Group is much lower than ‘through the wall’ machines favoured by banks and building societies. Furthermore, the Group commonly achieves much higher withdrawal fees from its ATMs compared to bank and building societies, which only earn an inter-bank fee of 32.7p per cash withdrawal.


The identification of profitable sites is critical to ensure the success of the Group’s business model. For this reason, the Group applies exacting location and qualitative criteria before deploying an ATM. Contractual commitments typically of between three and seven years usually exist between the site hosts and the Group. The Group regularly reviews the performance of its ATMs with a view to ensuring that it builds an estate of ATMs with high transaction volumes and increasing yields.


Cardpoint became a full member of LINK in January 2002, having previously obtained access to LINK via a bank sponsorship arrangement. LINK is the only branded shared network of ATMs and self-service terminals in the UK, and provides a telecoms and settlement infrastructure to its members. It allows cardholders of every member financial institution to use the ATM of another LINK member. Membership of the network is critical to the success of any independent ATM operator.


Acceptance of the LINK network in the UK, among other factors, has contributed significantly to the growth in the independent ATM sector. At the end of 2000 approximately 28 per cent of Remote ATMs in the UK were operated by independents. This proportion is expected to grow further, as it has in the US where at the end of 2000 independents operated approximately 50% of Remote ATMs.


Although neither the Directors nor staff have access to cash at any time, for security reasons, please do not refer to the Company’s location.



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