Deloitte has found buyers for two divisions of Powa Technologies, the London-based payments company that collapsed into administration two weeks ago.
Powa has three main business lines:
- PowaWeb, which built online shops for retailers.
- PowaPOS, formerly known as mPowa, which built a mobile card reader to rival the likes of Square.
- PowaTag, an app that would let consumers buy things by scanning QR code, print adverts, and audio of TV ads.
Sky reported on Thursday morning that PowaTag was being sold to a consortium led by businessman Ben White and PowaWeb has been sold in a management buyout led by Andy Muldoon and backed by Greenlight Digital, a UK-based digital group.
Deloitte confirmed the sales in an email to Business Insider. The financials of both deals have not been confirmed.
Deloitte’s Rob Harding, the joint administrator who has been leading on the sale of business, says in an emailed statement:
Given the precarious financial position of the business, we have had to run an accelerated and focussed M&A process, quickly zeroing in on the key likely purchasers after our recent appointment. We are delighted to have secured a sale for the business preserving a significant number of jobs and wish Ben White, Greenlight Digital and the respective management teams every success in taking the businesses forward.
This has been an extremely challenging time for many including the group’s employees and management. We would like to specifically thank them and the legal advisers involved (Hogan Lovells, Linklaters and Akin Gump), for their help and support in successfully concluding the deals.
Greenlight Digital, which describes itself as a digital growth agency, confirmed it purchased PowaWeb in an email to Business Insider.
Greenlight CEO and co-founder Warren Cowan says in the release:
Under Greenlight, PowaWeb will be able to thrive and achieve its full potential as a fantastically nimble and powerful e-commerce platform. As a full-service digital marketing company with the skills and technology required to help brands and retailers drive growth online, Greenlight is the perfect home for PowaWeb and supports our build, market and measure ethos.
Together with the PowaWeb platform and its experienced team, we will be able to bring even more value and expertise to our retail clients in a growing marketplace.
Around 20 Powa staff who work in the division will join Greenlight as part of the deal, including PowaWeb CEO Andy Muldoon. PowaWeb’s clients include HarperCollins, Electrolux, and Hoover, according to the release.
The two deals will save around 69, but that still leaves over 160 staff with uncertain futures. Powa employed 311 people before going under and Deloitte made 74 staff redundant shortly after taking charge. It’s not clear what is happening to Powa’s third division, PowaPOS.
Powa was at one point valued at $2.7 billion (£1.8 billion) and has raising at least $225 million (£160 million) in debt and equity since 2013.
However, problems emerged early last month after the company struggled to pay employees and contracts on time. Subsequent company filings showed the company had just $250,000 (£177,700) in the bank at the start of February and debts of $16.4 million (£11.6 million).
Powa’s CEO and founder Dan Wagner told staff that the company was “basically pre-revenue,” according to a recent video seen by the Financial Times. Business Insider reported that most of the 1,200 partners Powa claimed to have signed up to its payments app had simply expressed interest in the technology and not signed any contracts or agreements.
Deloitte was called in as administrators at the end of February after Powa’s biggest investor, US-based Wellington Management, called in loans to the company. Wellington made a subsequent loan to Powa once Deloitte took over to keep the business ticking over.