Kildare-based Sentenial acquired by EML in deal worth up to €110m

Shareholders include Enterprise Ireland, Gary McGann, Charlie McCreevy and Tiarnan O’Mahoney

The deal includes an upfront payment of €70 million, with an earn-out component of up to €40 million. Photograph: iStock

Australian payments company EML has agreed to buy Irish-based Sentenial Ltd in a deal worth up to €110 million.

The deal includes an upfront payment of €70 million, with an earn-out component of up to €40 million.

Company filings show its shareholders include chief executive Sean Fitzgerald; Enterprise Ireland; former Smurfit Kappa chief Gary McGann; Eamonn Quinn, son of the late Superquinn founder Feargal Quinn; former minister for finance Charlie McCreevy; and former Anglo Irish Bank executive Tiarnan O'Mahoney.

Sentenial is a cloud-native enterprise-grade payments company, operating in the European open banking sector with its Nuapay brand. It is regulated in the UK and France, and processes €45 billion per annum.


The acquisition will provide EML with the capabilities to manage payments across Mastercard and Visa, and account to account, as well as both card and non-card payments.

EML will expand Sentenial’s platform and products into the North American and Australian markets. The combined group will process in excess of $90 billion Australian dollars (€57.68 billion) in gross debit volume.

"EML has transitioned over the years from primarily a gift card company to a company with a diverse revenue base across multiple prepaid products. The acquisition of Sentenial will be the next evolution for EML, as we transition into a broader payments business by adding instant account-to-account [open banking] payments into our suite of solutions for current and prospective customers," said Tom Cregan, EML's managing director and group chief executive.

He said Sentenial was a “similar business to EML but servicing a different customer set with different payment types”.

“The net result of bringing the companies together allows EML to increase our total addressable market by expanding our product suite, and we see a number of opportunities to cross-sell account to account payments into existing EML customers, and vice versa,” he said.

Sentenial's main base is located in Ireland, with offices in London, Paris, Brussels and Krakow.

Mr Fitzgerald, founder and chief executive at Sentenial, said he was “hugely excited” to become part of EML. “From the moment EML approached us, we’ve been impressed by their vision, ambition and growing ecosystem,” he said.

The deal is due to be completed later this year, subject to regulatory approval.

EML bought Irish-founded Prepaid Financial Services in November 2019, with the deal closing in March 2020.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist