Leyland plastic card specialist in merger with Austria firm

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A Leyland firm which makes plastic ID, gift, loyalty and membership cards has been bought for an undisclosed sum in a merger/acquisition deal.

Austrian firm Austriacard has moved for Nitecrest and its banking sector subsidiary TAG-Nitecrest.

The shareholders and leadership team of Nitecrest will hold equity positions in the new group and will continue in their leading positions.

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Ronnie Hart, chairman of Nitecrest and TAG-Nitecrest and CEO of Nitecrest, said: “We are excited to join forces with Austriacard, as this will allow us to expand further and capitalise on serving our valued customers on a world-wide level, thanks to the industrial robustness and cutting-edge technologies of Austriacard.”

At the production facilities of NitecrestAt the production facilities of Nitecrest
At the production facilities of Nitecrest

Leeroy Pye, chief executive of TAG-Nitecrest, said: “At group level we are about to change the game.

“Our Fintech and Challenger Bank customer adoption takes the entire group into a new era, as we shall be able for the first time to offer product led core banking services.

"We are partnering with key companies around the globe, to flip card issuing on its head and take the helm to delivering the next generation of payment cards.”

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TAG-Nitecrest, in 2019, launched biometric , fingerprint activated banking cards to increase security for in-store payments.

Nitercrest was founded in 1996 by the Hart family, producing personalised telecom cards, then credit and loyalty cards from premises in the Moss Side Industrial Estate.

It holds a 50 per cent stake in TAG-Nitecrest founded in 2016, which handles sales and personalization of payment cards for financial institutions. In 2020, the two achieved a consolidated turnover of € 30m and employ around 160 people.

Austriacard founded in 1897, operates in the fields of in the fields of digital security, payments and identity as well as the Internet of Things.

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Mr Panagiotis Spyropoulos, group chief executive of Austriacard Holdings, which had recently also merged with TAG Systems, said: "Austriacard's decision to join forces with Nitecrest was straightforward, the latter being a leading provider for cards and services in the UK with sales globally, as well as the undisputed leader for Europe’s fintechs, through TAG-Nitecrest. The fit was perfectly complementary."