Vivotech and Ingenico set for battle to buy Hypercom’s US POS business from Verifone?

‘We see this as a strategic and transformative opportunity for Vivotech,’ says company CEO Mick Mullagh, who has plans for an IPO in 2012. Ingenico, meanwhile, is yet to officially announce an acquisition plan but is reported to already be in discussions to buy the business.

Ingenico, Verifone and Vivotech
TUSSLE? Vivotech and Ingenico may go head to head to aquire Hypercom's US business from Verifone

Vivotech, the NFC software and systems company, has announced it wants to buy Hypercom‘s US business from Verifone, allowing it to speed up efforts to introduce in-store mobile payment, loyalty, marketing and merchandising solutions in the United States.

Meanwhile, France-based Ingenico, the world’s second largest POS terminal maker, is already in discussions to buy the business, according to Bloomberg.

Verifone said in November 2010 that it would divest Hypercom’s US assets following its acquisition of the electronic payments company, which is expected to close in the second half of this year.

“NFC mobile commerce is on the cusp of becoming reality,” says Mick Mullagh, Vivotech’s CEO. “Vivotech’s acquisition of the Hypercom US assets would allow us to accelerate the adoption of this revolutionary new technology and ensure that a vigorous and competitive market emerges to drive innovation and choice.”

“We see this as a strategic and transformative opportunity for Vivotech to enhance our next-generation NFC platform, and accelerate the adoption of in-store mobile payment, loyalty, marketing and merchandising solutions in the US.

“Vivotech is the only US-based company in a position to support and provide continuity to Hypercom’s customer base and become a strong, viable third competitor in the highly competitive US market.

“We have the experience, the track record, the management team, and the unanimous support of our Board to pursue this acquisition and make it successful.”

To date, Vivotech has shipped more than 800,000 contactless NFC readers, says the company. “Through its direct and OEM channels Vivotech has 80% share of US deployments, including nearly 100% of Verifone’s current US contactless NFC reader deployments.”

News of Vivotech’s bid comes after NFC World reported that the company is planning a stock market launch as early as 2012.

The company — which one analyst believes could be valued at as much as US$1bn — is aiming to tap into the “absolutely huge” market on offer for mobile contactless payments and expects to be profitable in mid-2012.

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