Vianet Buys Vendman In Shock £4.3m Deal

Vianet buys Vendman: Today, Wednesday 4 October,  Vianet Group PLC  announced the acquisition of  Vendman for £4.3m.

Under the terms of the deal, Vianet will pay an initial cash consideration of £2m and a further payment of £2.3m, based on Vendman hitting agreed financial targets. Vianet said it intends to fund the initial cash consideration by a bank loan and the earn-out payment from cash reserves.

‘The acquisition of Vendman will create significant cross-selling opportunities.’

Vianet said the acquisition of Vendman will create significant cross-selling opportunities and will establish a comprehensive portfolio of software solutions for the retail industry. The deal is expected to enhance Vianet earnings in 2019 financial year, the first full year of combined operations.

Vianet buys Vendman

Vendman develops, manages, and supports integrated software and mobile applications for vending machine operators in the UK and continental Europe. Its solutions include stock control, pricing information, data management, account analysis and route planning.

Unaudited Vendman accounts for the 12 months to 31 March recorded revenues of £1.8m, over 90% of which were recurring, and an operating profit of £0.27m with net assets of £0.28m. Vendman provides management services for more than 200,000 machines in the UK and Europe

The deal can, perhaps, be traced back to May 2016, when a partnership between Vianet and Vendman was announced exclusively on Planet Vending.

At the time, Vianet Group MD Matt Lane described the partnership between the two as ‘the creation of a new eco-system for vending operators.’

Vianet Buys Vendman
‘A new eco-system for vending operators.’ Matt Lane

‘We’re both in the word of connectivity’, Matt said. ‘Vendman connects vending operators to machine data via had-held devices, Vianet does it by telemetry. It made sense for us to come together and forge a partnership.’

Vianet launched its PCI accredited contactless payment system against an evolving background of transaction fulfilment. Cashless is predicted to overtake ‘real money’ as the preferred payment method within five years and, as Matt says, ‘in the meantime, the costs associated with cash transactions will only increase.’

‘I was looking for a business that had a strong relationship with the vending industry and Vendman was looking for a reliable payment system that would allow them to strengthen its offer to operators’, Matt said at the time. ‘The integration is driven by technology. Our modus operandi has been to provide information to operators on a weekly, or even a monthly basis but by integrating with Vendman we can create a brand-new ecosystem that allows operators to access information every day.’

Today’s announcement will be a bolt from the blue for many in the vending industry.

The partnership between Vendman and Vianet therefore seemed to be a logical step along the way back then – but today’s announcement will still be a bolt from the blue for many in the vending industry.

Since the agreement between the two companies, which was signed in February 2016, both sales teams have been working closely together, even making joint presentations to operators to explain the finer points of adopting ‘cashless’ and subsequently, how to manage the process.

Vianet Buys Vendman
Rob Little

‘The partnership with Vianet will be a boon for operators because it takes a lot of the stress out of cashless trading’, Vendman MD Rob Little said back in May 2016. ‘Rather than having to reconcile fiscal data from different sources, the integration of Vianet into Vendman means that an operator receives cashless income via Vendman, which means that it can be allocated to individual machines. It means that data about sales, such as the performance of individual products and the profitability of each machine can be accessed in exactly the same way as it is for cash sales.’

‘Vendman will help Vianet’s Smart Machines arm.’

Speaking today, Vianet Chairman James Dickson said Vendman will help Vianet’s Smart Machines arm, which allows purveyors of apparatus, such as vending machines, to stay up-to-date with the performance of equipment.

He also said it will enhance Vianet’s ongoing focus on the Internet of Things, which connects devices in everyday objects by allowing data to be sent and received.

Vianet Buys Vendman

‘This is an important acquisition, which greatly advances our strategy for growth and is a hugely complementary fit for our business on several fronts and takes it to the next level’, he said. ‘The fact that Vendman has chosen to deal with us is a strong endorsement of our capability, vision and strategy for Smart Machines. As businesses increasingly seek and rely on actionable data, business intelligence and insights, Vianet’s expansion of proven Internet of Things capability shows we are well placed to deliver compelling results for our customers and accelerate our own growth in what are rapidly evolving markets.

Vianet Buys Vendman

Planet Vending has been unable to contact Rob Little today, which is hardly surprising under the circumstances. However, as soon as he surfaces, we’ll be there to ask him for his thoughts on this game-changing development.

 

 

About the author

The Editor

Planet Vending’s Editor is Ian Reynolds-Young and it’s Ian’s unique writing talent that has made PV what it is today – the best read (red) vending blog in the world, and vending’s best read (reed). Ian ‘tripped and fell into vending’, in the capacity of PR executive, before launching a specialist agency, ‘reynoldscopy’, dedicated to the UK Vending business. The company continues to represent the interests of many of the sector’s leading brands.

‘It’s all about telling stories’, he says. ‘We want to make every visit to PV a rewarding experience. By celebrating the achievements of the UK’s operating companies, we’re on a mission to debunk the idea that vending is retailing’s poor relation.’

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