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ThinkSmart shares soar as it sells 90% of ClearPay to Australian firm AfterPay

The AIM-listed digital payments group said it had sold the stake for 1mln shares in AfterPay, valued at A$18.55mln

Digital payments on mobile
AfterPay is planning to launch its own platform in the UK within the next six months

ThinkSmart Limited (LON:TSL) shares soared in late-morning trading Thursday after the firm sold 90% of subsidiary ClearPay to Australian company Afterpay Touch Group Limited (ASX:APT).

The AIM-listed digital payments group said it had sold the 90% stake in ClearPay for 1mln shares in Afterpay, valued at A$18.55mln, which would be issued in an initial tranche of 750,000 shares on 23 August, with the second 250,000 tranche to be issued on 23 February 2019, all of which would be listed on the Australian stock exchange.

Plan to launch global platform in the UK

ThinkSmart added that it intended to dispose the shares received “over the medium term” while retaining an ongoing investment in Afterpay, with investors to be rewarded with a special dividend and capital return.

The firm also said that a proportion of the remaining 10% of ClearPay’s shares would be available to ClearPay’s employees under an employee share ownership plan.

Ned Montarello, ThinkSmart's Executive Chairman, said that the sale would provide a “significant return on investment for shareholders” while allowing the company to retain an investment in “the leading player in this sector globally”.

He added that AfterPay’s plan to launch a global platform in the UK within the next six months, assisted by the ClearPay acquisition, would allow the company to become “the dominant player in the UK market with the potential for significant growth over the next five years."

In a note to clients, analysts at City broker FinnCap said that the sale strengthened ThinkSmart’s balance sheet while offering the possibility of “at least £11mln of value within 12-18 months through its residual holding”.

ThinkSmart shares were up 71.4% at 15p.

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