EMERCHANTS CHAIRMAN STEPS DOWN DUE TO PRESSURES OF TRAVEL

Written on the 18 February 2015 by Nick Nichols

EMERCHANTS CHAIRMAN STEPS DOWN DUE TO PRESSURES OF TRAVEL ONEROUS travel commitments between the US and Australia have been blamed for the resignation of Bob Browning as chairman of Emerchants' (ASX: EML).

Browning, who is based in the US, has been chairman of the prepaid card operator for the past three years.

At the end of last year, he played a pivotal role in Emerchants' $24.9 million buyout of Store Financial Services UK, which is one of Europe's largest shopping mall gift card processors with operations in nine countries.

Browning, a former CEO of Alinta, will remain on the Emerchants board as a non-executive director and will stand for re-election at the company's AGM in November. He joins David Liddy as non-executive director and replaces incoming chairman Peter Martin in the non-executive role.

"On behalf of the Emerchants board, I thank Mr Browning for his excellent guidance and significant contribution to the growth of Emerchants," says CEO Tom Cregan.

"Bob has been very supportive of management in our strategy of turning Emerchants into a leader in the reloadable industry and then supporting and driving our push internationally.

"We're pleased that Bob is remaining on the board and I look forward to his continued contribution to the company."

Emerchants has yet to deliver a maiden net profit, but it is pinning its hopes on last year's Store Financial acquisition to bring it into the black. Emerchants expects Store Financial to generate revenue of $8.6 million and to contribute $2.7 million to EBITDA in the first 12 months of the acquisition.

Meanwhile, Martin's move to fill the chairman's role comes as no surprise.

The former CEO of Rothschild Australia Asset Management is a major stakeholder in the company, owning 9.4 million shares worth about $6 million.

Martin has more than 35 years' experience in marine construction, finance and investment management. He has previously held directorships on Rothschild boards both in Australia and overseas.

Author: Nick Nichols

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