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ReD

ReD

Invested
December 2006

Exited
July 2014

Return
2.5x / 18% IRR

Sector:
Business services

Headquarters:
UK

Region:
Global

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Business at time of investment

Retail Decisions was a payments conglomerate listed on the London Stock Exchange, which operated fuel card and fraud prevention businesses primarily in Europe and Australia, as well as a the US, China and South Africa.

Investment rationale

ReD was well positioned to exploit the growth in the global market for transaction cards, where certain niches were identified as having potentially very high levels of growth, such as pre-paid cards and on-line card payments. A strong, defensible, cash generative business afforded downside protection and further return potential via skilled balance sheet management.

Value creation

Conglomerate

  • Acquisitions: Bolt-on acquisitions of fuel card businesses in the UK and Austria in 2007 and Germany-based Lomo in 2008.
  • De-risked the business: Following the global financial crisis, Palamon fully de-levered the company and returned 80% of invested equity through three separate division sales: the UK Fuel Cards business for £41 million in August 2009, the Australian businesses in September 2010 for €243 million and the European fuel card business in March 2011

ReD Fraud prevention business

  • Strengthened management:  Appointed Paul Stanley as CEO and Palamon Advisory Board member Geoff Unwin as Non-Executive Chairman.
  • Strategy: Developed a growth acceleration plan for the Company in late 2011, which was successfully implemented in 2012-14.
  • Internationalised: Identified the key geographic regions to target and the most effective routes to enter those markets. 
  • Invested in sales: Backed management to pursue an aggressive growth plan

Company at exit

By 2014 ReD has become the leading independent provider of fraud prevention and risk management solutions for on-line payments serving large on-line and multi-channel merchants across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.  On exit, ReD was the market leader in several countries, including the US and the UK.  In the US, the Company screened around 25% of all on-line payment transactions.

Result

Palamon’s investors made a total return of 2.5x invested capital via a recapitalisation and four separate strategic sales across the world: the UK Fuel Cards business for £41 million in August 2009, the Australian businesses for €243 million in September 2010, the European fuel card business to Eurotoll in March 2011 and the payments fraud prevention business for $205m in July 2014.


“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Palamon and are proud of the results we have achieved together. Their understanding of the e-commerce space combined with their experience in payments and enterprise software was invaluable in establishing ReD as a global leader in fraud prevention.  Significant investments in new products and sales channels have further strengthened our global platform and we are well placed to continue delivering strong growth.”
Paul Stanley, CEO of ReD Worldwide