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Keycorp the Gateway for Camtech's Growth

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Australia Stock Exchange-listed e-commerce solutions provider Keycorp has acquired Adelaide-based Internet payment gateway technology developer Camtech, in a bid to push an end-to-end solution to a global market.

Keycorp, which develops solutions that incorporate smart card and point-of-sale systems, will pay $110 million in scrip for Camtech's intellectual property, technology and global business operations.

"Camtech is in a position with a potentially world-leading e-commerce technology, and our vision has been to go global with this technology and a marketing strategy," said Camtech chief executive officer Bruce Linn. "We needed a partner, and Keycorp proved the most likely option, because of their synergistic technology and similar vision for the global market."

"We had reached a fork in our growth. We had been 100 percent owned by Adelaide University until now, and while it was a good incubator, it was not as well-placed to invest in a fast-growing company. It was a situation where we had grown up, and now it was time to spread our wings and leave the nest."

According to Linn, a large part of Camtech's appeal to Keycorp was its Channel Partner Community, a network of resellers and technology partners that the smart card company will use to help drive the deployment of Internet payment gateway software.

"For our channel partners, this will bring access to new products to form a broader set of capabilities," said Linn. He also believed that the exposure some of these partners gained would help their exposure to the global market Camtech and Keycorp are pursuing.

The 170-strong partner community comprises customers, financial institution partners, channel partners and shareholders, including technology partners IT&E, Pure Commerce and eFirst, through which Camtech has sought to add value to its technology by integrating in specific vertical markets.

Camtech has used this community to build a merchant base of 650 e-commerce operations such as travel site travel.com.au, fresh produce delivery service greengrocer.com.au, computer products retailer Harris Technology and the Australian Football League (AFL).

Among the first plans in the aftermath of the purchase is the expansion of Camtech's Adelaide R&D centre, to become a global Internet payment technology R&D lab. "We will need other features and other interfaces for our technology to be relevant globally," said Linn. He added that while Camtech's and Keycorp's technologies may have some overlap, they are largely complementary, with Keycorp's greater focus on solutions for financial institutions with its Nobil technology differing from Camtech's approach by concentrating on the merchant's end.

"We have never really considered each other as competitors, but we want to be able to create a formidable force in e-commerce here and in other markets with our combined approach," said Linn. "Keycorp's technology lies more with smart cards and EFTPOS terminals, and we can take work with these when they become IP-enabled."

Linn said Camtech would retain its name subsequent to the purchase, to continue leveraging the name it has built in Australia.