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Oberthur Card Systems To Acquire Africard, A Leading Card Manufacturer In South Africa

Los Angeles, October 5th, 2005–Oberthur Card Systems announces the acquisition of Africard (Pty) Ltd, a Labat Africa Limited company and a leading South African card manufacturer, for a purchase price of 20 million ZAR (around 2.5 million Euros), debt and cash free.

The transaction will formally take place after the approval at the next Labat shareholders’ general meeting. Oberthur Card Systems will assume management immediately. Africard, which will be renamed Oberthur Card Systems South Africa, will address the South African domestic market and other English speaking African countries.

Oberthur Card Systems will make available its smart card technology and provide state of the art manufacturing and personalization capabilities. Located in Johannesburg and with more than 15 years in existence, the Visa and MasterCard certified plant has a production capacity of 30 million cards per year and holds over 40 percent of the South African banking card market. South Africa is the largest payment market in Africa, with more than 20 million banking cards in circulation, and Oberthur Card Systems South Africa is well positioned to take advantage of the upcoming EMV1 migration.

With a strong local presence, Oberthur Card Systems will benefit from dynamic demand for GSM cards and emerging ID programs. “The transfer of smart card technology to Africard was absolutely crucial to leverage the growth potential of the company. With its clear understanding and commitment to 1 Europay, MasterCard, Visa, the African market, Oberthur Card Systems was the best international player to take over Africard,” stated Rodger Metelerkamp, managing director of Africard.

“This acquisition, and the investment we will make to improve and expand the capability of Africard, clearly demonstrate our determination to support the development of the African market by offering local and dedicated services,” said Xavier Drilhon, managing director of the SEMEA-LA Region for Oberthur Card Systems.

 

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