Payzone's sacked chief executive gets over €1m


ONE MORE THING:AS JOHN Nagle prepares to launch Zapa Technology, his latest business venture, newly-lodged accounts for his former employer Payzone show that he was paid €925,000 last year as compensation for being sacked as chief executive.

Nagle also received €115,740 in salary and a pension payment of €8,124 to bring his total remuneration with Payzone for the financial year – which concluded on September 30th, 2008 – to €1.05 million.

Nagle’s former lieutenant, John Williamson, who was Payzone’s chief financial officer, was paid €700,000 on his dismissal at the same time. He was also paid a salary of €88,109 and a pension contribution of €25,202.

Williamson recently joined fuel group Topaz as head of finance.

Former chairman Bob Thian received no payment following his decision to step aside shortly after Nagle and Williamson had been removed by shareholders. Thian earned €91,404 in fees for serving as chairman between September 13th, 2007 and April 14th last year.

Nagle and Williamson were two of the architects of Payzone’s creation in late 2007 when Dublin-based e-payments group Alphyra merged with British ATM operator Cardpoint.

It was an ill-starred combination that led to a very public fallout between Nagle and other directors and investors in Payzone, including the Barry Maloney-led venture capital group Balderton Capital. Maloney’s brother Mike took over as Payzone’s chief on April 11th, 2008. The accounts show he received a salary of €199,337 up to the end of September last.

In total, Payzone paid out just under €2.5 million to 10 current or former directors in 2008 – a chunky sum for a company with a market value of just £6.7 million.

Payzone is in negotiations with its lenders over refinancing its substantial €280 million net debt. The payments group recorded a loss of €307.7 million last year, nearly half of which related to a goodwill impairment.

The accounts were prepared on a “going concern” basis in spite of its various financial difficulties. “The validity of this assumption is dependent on achieving operating profitability by the group for the years ended September 30th, 2009 and 2010 and the continued support of the group’s bankers,” the accounts state.

The directors said they were “satisfied” that Payzone “should have the necessary resources to meet its current financial obligations”.