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Sage flogs North American Payments biz for $260m

Apple and Google have eaten its lunch

Sage, pusher of the thrilling product that is accountancy software, has flogged its North American Payments business to private equity outfit GTCR for $260m (£202m).

Back in December, the UK firm said it was evaluating “potential strategic options for the North American payments business", including a sale.

The division, which enables businesses to make online payments, was identified as an underperforming area within the group, with sales flatlining in the last year.

Payments has come under pressure due to margins being squeezed by the likes of Apple, Google (with Android Pay) and PayPal.

Stephen Kelly*, Sage’s head honcho, said the payments market as a "strategic fit" is not as strong as the rest of the business.

He said instead the firm will focus on growing its network of partnerships in the payments and banking sector.

He said: "Today’s announcement to sell the SPS business and partner with the divested business backed by GTCR reinforces this strategy, allowing our North American business builders to continue to access their current payments and banking technology, supported by the renewed investment from GTCR.” ®

* Kelly previously worked as chief operating officer within the UK's Cabinet Office, where he was apparently referred to as the "human Ken doll" by the Public Accounts Committee office.

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