Ingenico could “easily” purchase a company for as much as 400 million euros ($509 million), Lazare said in an interview yesterday at a conference organized by Morgan Stanley in Barcelona. “If we want to go higher than that, that may be possible too” by seeking extra financing.
Lazare’s search focuses on terminal sellers and support providers as well as makers of technology that would help the Neuilly-sur-Seine-based company bundle physical and online payment solutions, the executive said. Ingenico may also acquire companies to get “direct access to small merchants,” he said.
The company had cash of 313 million euros at the end of the first half, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Ingenico, which competes with VeriFone Systems Inc. (PAY), has added hardware companies in Indonesia, Russia and China to benefit from growth of non-cash payments in emerging markets. Revenue from such regions will probably exceed 50 percent of the company’s total sales in the next few years from 40 percent now, Lazare said.
The company raised its revenue target for 2012 last month after third-quarter sales jumped 25 percent. It’s also seeking to profit from the growing number of people using their mobile devices to pay for purchases.
Sales will probably rise by a “high-single digit” percentage next year while profitability will remain at least at the current level, Lazare said. Analysts expect an 8 percent increase in 2013 revenue, according to the average of 14 forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.
The stock fell 0.4 percent to 38.36 euros at 10:39 a.m. in Paris, giving the company a market value of 2 billion euros. The shares have gained 25 percent in the past year.
To contact the reporter on this story: Cornelius Rahn in Barcelona at firstname.lastname@example.org