Net1 acquires additional 5% in Bank Frick; Bank to expand blockchain development group

|GlobeNewswire|About: UEPS

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, Feb. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Net 1 UEPS Technologies, Inc. (UEPS) (“Net1” or the “Company”) (NasdaqGS:UEPS) (JSE:NT1) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 5% additional interest in Bank Frick & Co. AG (“Bank Frick”), a fully licensed bank based in Balzers, Liechtenstein. Following the successful completion of this investment, the Company will own 35% of Bank Frick. The Company has an option, exercisable until October 2, 2019, to acquire an additional 35% interest in Bank Frick.

Bank Frick was the first bank in the CHF area to offer a cryptocurrency certificate in the summer of 2017, allowing professional investors to add cryptocurrencies to their portfolios. Bank Frick also supports and assists a large number of companies with their initial coin offerings (“ICOs”), in compliance with the strict European legislation regarding customer identification know your client (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML), source of money and other related legislation.

Net1 acquired its 5% interest from the Kuno Frick Family Foundation at a premium, and this premium will be reinvested in the bank in order to establish and accelerate the expansion of a dedicated team focused on the development and various applications of blockchain technology.

“Our further investment in Bank Frick emphasizes the importance of our involvement with the Bank, and the multiple synergies between our two organizations,” said Herman G. Kotzé, CEO of Net1. Bank Frick is progressive and has developed a range of exciting business models and products in the areas of payment, cryptocurrency trading and blockchain applications, and its pipeline of new products and services is growing. With blockchain in particular, we see interesting opportunities to make attractive products available for people in countries with a low concentration of banks,” he concluded.

“As part of our agreed digital strategy, we are striving to combine the reliability of the classic banking system with the new opportunities offered by digitization and blockchain technology,” said Edi Wögerer, CEO of Bank Frick. “Net1’s additional involvement serves to meaningfully strengthen our digital strategy,” he added.

About Net1 (www.net1.com)

Net1 is a leading provider of alternative payment systems that leverage its Universal Electronic Payment System (“UEPS”) or utilize its proprietary mobile technologies. The Company operates market-leading payment processors in South Africa and the Republic of Korea. Through Transact24, Net1 offers debit, credit and prepaid processing and issuing services for Visa (V), MasterCard and ChinaUnionPay in China and other territories across Asia-Pacific, Europe and Africa, and the United States. Through Masterpayment, Net1 provides payment processing and enables working capital financing in Europe.

UEPS permits the Company to facilitate biometrically secure, real-time electronic transaction processing to unbanked and under-banked populations of developing economies around the world in an online or offline environment. Net1’s UEPS/EMV solution is interoperable with global EMV standards that seamlessly enable access to all the UEPS functionality in a traditional EMV environment. In addition to payments, UEPS can be used for banking, healthcare management, payroll, remittances, voting and identification.

Net1’s mobile technologies include its proprietary mobile payments solution - MVC, which offers secure mobile-based payments, as well as mobile banking and prepaid value-added services in developed and emerging countries.

Net1 has a primary listing on the NASDAQ and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

About Bank Frick (www.bankfrick.li)

Bank Frick is a family-run Liechtenstein bank with headquarters in Balzers. It was founded in 1998 by Kuno Frick Sr (1938–2017), with the majority now controlled by the Kuno Frick Family Foundation. Minority shareholder Net 1 UEPS Technologies, Inc. (Net1), holds 30 per cent of Bank Frick’s share capital. Net1 is a financial technology company listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.

Bank Frick focuses on providing products and services for financial intermediaries such as fiduciaries, asset managers, payment service providers and fintechs.

Bank Frick develops tailor-made funds for intermediaries and acts as a custodian bank.

It is the only bank in Liechtenstein with acquiring licences from Visa and MasterCard.

Bank Frick employs around 90 members of staff and operates a branch in London, UK.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included in this press release regarding strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenues, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. The Company may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in its forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements that the Company makes. Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to: the possibility that the expected synergies from the investment will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; disruption from the investment making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; and other factors, many of which are beyond the Company’s control; and other important factors included in the Company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, particularly in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, as such Risk Factors may be updated from time to time in subsequent reports. The Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Investor Relations Contact:

Dhruv Chopra
Head of Investor Relations
Phone: +1-917-767-6722
Email: dchopra@net1.com

Media Relations Contact

Bridget von Holdt
Business Director – Burson-Marstellar South Africa
Phone: +27-82-610-0650
Email: bridget.vonholdt@bm-africa.com

Bank Frick Contact

Sigvard Wohlwend
Head of Communication and Marketing
Phone: +423-388-2146
Email: Sigvard.wohlwend@bankfrick.li

Source: Net 1 UEPS Technologies, Inc. 2018 GlobeNewswire, Inc.