The new owners of Hypercom USA, UK and Spain...

It's taken approximatelyeight months, but Verifone has concluded its acquisition of rival POS terminal manufacturer, Hypercom, after finallysatisfying the antitrust concerns of the US Department of Justice. Whilst much has been made of the divestiture ofHypercom'sUS arm to anas-yet unknowncompany sponsored by the private equityfirm Gores Group, there has been comparativelylittle commentary on the new owners of the UK and Spanish divisions -Spire Payments.

Sojustwhoisthisnew kidon the block?

Essentially,Spire Payments is the new name for Hypercom UK and Hypercom Spain, and is backed by the private equity firm Klein Partners Capital Group. According to the company's website, the new entity "leads a business with an estimated base of 650,000 payment terminals" and "has the exclusive sale rights to Hypercom's range of Optimum and Artema Modular products in the UK and Spain".Kazem Aminae, the former President of HypercomEMEAhas been appointed President ofthe new company.

Although the US market is no moreconcentrated than it was before as a result of these agreements (with three players stillaccounting for the vastmajority of POS terminal shipments in the country), the same can't now be said of the European market. In fact, the so-called "bigthree" has effectivelybecome the "big two" and so it remains to be seen whetherSpire Payments will, in time, expand its offering in other regional markets to try and erodethe now enhanced collective dominance of Ingenico and Verifone.

ABI Research's recently published report on the integration of cellular connectivity in the payments industry provides a more thoroughoverview of the POS terminal market and its competitive landscape. For more details, please click here.