SAN JOSE, CA – Earlier this week, the board of VeriFone Systems (NYSE:PAY) announced the appointment of Paul Gallant as the new CEO of the company, effective October 1. Gallant’s appointment follows the ouster of Douglas Bergeron who had led the company since Gores Technology Group acquired the payment processing business from Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ).
Gallant, most recently served as the CEO of Citigroup’s (NYSE:C) Enterprise Payments business, where he helped to develop innovative digital payments services for Citi’s institutional and government clients. The innovations enabled the Citi division to expand into growth markets by positioning the company to me their customer’s needs for secure mobile payments and commerce. Prior to running the Enterprise Payments division, Gallant was CEO of Citigroup’s North American and International Consumer Credit Cards business.
According to Dr. Leslie Denend, VeriFone’s Interim Non-Executive Chairman, the appointment of Gallant ‘followed an extensive search process, that considered a broad list of highly qualified candidates, Paul was deemed unanimously by the Board to have the best combination of professional experience and leadership skills to continue to capitalize on the solid progress we have made in recent months. His experience in guiding businesses through industry change and his track record in multi-channel payment innovation will position the company strategically for continued growth and long-term value creation.’
With the appointment, analysts remained split on the outlook for VeriFone; Barclays Capital reaffirmed their hold rating on shares the company. While analysts at RBC Capital, Raymond James, and the Jefferies Group all raised their price targets for the company; overall VeriFone has a consensus rating of hold and an average target price of $ 22.67. Shares of VeriFone ended the week slightly off their one-month high at $ 23.13; year-to-date VeriFone’s share are down nearly 20 percent.
Meanwhile, former CEO Douglas Bergeron, and VeriFone’s largest shareholder, announced on Thursday that he has formed a new $ 500 million fund with private equity firm GCTR to buy financial-industry assets and companies. The new partnership between Bergeron and Chicago-based GCTR will be based in Palo Alto and called Opus Global Holdings LLC. Bergeron is kicking in $ 50 million and the private equity firm is investing the rest of the funds.