Tech company identifies ‘step-change’ acquisition

Hull-based Paragon ID, which specialises in identification solutions for transport, e-ID, traceability and brand protection, has bought an Essex card manufacturer.

Thames Technology designs, makes, personalises and distributes payment cards, loyalty cards, gift cards and other cards. It has been accredited for more than 15 years with Visa and Mastercard.

Its customers come from various sectors including retail, financial services (payment), banking (fintech), leisure and tourism, and government bodies.

Founded in 1994, Thames Technology sells more than 250m cards per year, which are distributed to customers in more than 60 countries around the world. Annual revenues of the company exceed £15m, split relatively evenly between financial and retail sectors.

The acquisition of Thames Technology has been financed from Paragon ID’s own resources, and will be accretive to its profitability in the 2019/20 annual accounts.

The deal represents a significant expansion of Paragon ID’s Payment activity, launched last year with the acquisition of AmaTech Group. It also provides the business with a major opportunity to strengthen its market share in the different smart-card markets in the UK.

Clem Garvey, Paragon ID CEO, said: “The acquisition of Thames Technology represents another step-change in the development of our company.

“Just one year ago, we entered the Payment market with the acquisition of AmaTech Group. The acquisition of Thames firmly positions us in the Payment card space, with our own EMV-certified site, while also providing us with manufacturing and personalisation capacity in Britain for smart-cards which can be used across all of our existing business activities.

“We are delighted to welcome the Thames team to the Paragon ID group and look forward to great success together.”

Che Colford, operations director at Thames Technology, said: “Everyone here at Thames is very happy and excited to join the Paragon ID group.

“Our markets are becoming increasingly characterised by the convergence of applications across the domains of Payment, Identity and Transportation and are also becoming increasingly international. Joining an internationally-renowned, industrial group with strong presence in all of these markets makes a lot of sense for Thames and its stakeholders.”

Mark Bryant, head of manufacturing Business Growth Fund (BGF), board member of Thames Technology, added: “BGF has supported Thames since 2013. In that time, the company has encountered and systematically overcome many challenges.

“Today, it is a profitable business that is enjoying growth in both retail and financial sectors. We have been very happy to be part of the Thames story and are absolutely convinced that the next phase of its growth and development will best be achieved as part of a greater, international group which has a strong track record of successfully integrating acquisitions and integrating teams.

“We wish Paragon ID and Thames the very best of success in the future.”