Cardtronics Expands into South Africa By Acquiring Spark ATM Systems

Cardtronics plc announced that it has closed on the acquisition of Spark ATM Systems Proprietary Limited — a move that marks Cardtronics’ entry into the South African market. Privately held and headquartered in Cape Town, Spark ATM Systems is a fast-growing independent ATM deployer (“IAD”) in South Africa, with a growing nationwide network of approximately 2,600 ATMs.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Cardtronics Chief Executive Officer Steve Rathgaber commented:
“Spark ATM Systems is an innovative and highly respected ATM deployer, with relationships with leading banks in South Africa, making it a strong fit with Cardtronics. We are excited to broaden our global footprint into South Africa, with a management team that has built an impressive operating and technology platform.”

Spark ATM Systems Managing Director Marc Sternberg commented:
“This is a major milestone for Spark and is a strong vote of confidence not only in our organization, but also in the growth potential of South Africa’s ATM market. We are excited about the synergies between Spark’s robust operating platform and proven sales engine, and the added capabilities and credibility that come with the world’s premier ATM services provider, Cardtronics. We look forward to further developing and capitalizing on these combined strengths to serve our existing customers, unlock new business opportunities and further expand the reach of ATMs in South Africa.”

Global expansion into Africa

Founded in 2005, Spark ATM Systems expands Cardtronics’ global presence by adding South Africa as an anchor market in Africa, alongside the company’s established operations in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

South Africa is under-penetrated in terms of ATMs per person relative to Cardtronics’ two largest existing markets and consumer use of retail ATMs in South Africa is well-established, with nearly 80 percent of all ATMs located off-site from a bank branch, according to research firm RBR. Spark ATM Systems continues to capitalize on local banks’ appetite to outsource segments of their ATM networks to IADs, while merchants continue to turn to them as their ATM provider of choice.

Spark ATM Systems will continue to operate under its current name, and its founders, Marc Sternberg and Russel Berman, and the existing management team will continue in their current roles. The Spark ATM Systems head office in Cape Town will be retained as Cardtronics’ African base of operations.

Spark ATM Systems was advised by Novitas Capital Advisors.