Case Study: Accelerated Payment Technologies

Explore this investment 01.17.16

Fast Facts

  • Go-Private
  • Sourced Executive Talent
  • Low Leverage

As experienced investors in the payments space, we have studied the merchant acquiring sector for many years, but had passed on previous opportunities due to limited competitive differentiation. Enter Accelerated Payment Technologies.

In early 2007, Great Hill Partners identified a unique and technically differentiated business process for providing merchant payment services, and contacted APT, a leader in the space. After a year-long dialogue, the APT public company board agreed to accept our terms for a $180 million going-private transaction in May 2008.

APT had been founded as a point-of-sale software business and had made the conversion to a payments business over the previous decade. However, the management team lacked payments expertise, a shortcoming recognized by the company’s founder. Given our deep knowledge of the payments sector, GHP was able to quickly assemble a talented team of payments experts, led by Roy Banks, the former leader of Authorize.Net. We had known Roy for a number of years and were excited to infuse his knowledge of payment technology and channel sales into APT.

In discussing his introduction to APT, Roy said, “With Accelerated Payments, the team at Great Hill had identified a unique platform poised for tremendous growth. I knew immediately that APT’s integrated payments capability was transformative to the merchant payments service industry. The limited amount of debt allowed me to double the technology and sales teams in the past two years to maintain a growth rate greater than 30%.”

GHP completed the acquisition of APT with limited debt (less than 20% of purchase price), positioning the company to be financially flexible. This conservative capital structure allowed APT management to expand aggressively and take advantage of several growth opportunities in the marketplace — without concerns related to excessive debt payments and financial covenants.

APT was sold to Global Payments, Inc. in October 2012 for $413 million.