10-K 1 catm-20171231x10k.htm 10-K catm_Current folio_10-K

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 

Washington, D.C. 20549 

 

FORM 10-K 

(Mark One)

 

 

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

 

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 

or 

☐ 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

 

 

For the transition period from____ to____

 

Commission file number: 001-37820 

 

Cardtronics plc

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

England and Wales 

98-1304627 

(State or other jurisdiction of

(I.R.S. Employer

incorporation or organization)

Identification No.)

 

3250 Briarpark Drive, Suite 400 

77042 

Houston, Texas 

(Zip Code)

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (832) 308-4000

 Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

Name of each exchange on which registered

Ordinary Shares, nominal value $0.01 per share

The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC

 

Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  No 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. Yes  No 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes  No 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding twelve months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes  No 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer 

Accelerated filer 

 Non-accelerated filer    

(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

Smaller reporting company

 

Emerging growth company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes  No 

Aggregate market value of common shares held by non-affiliates as June 30, 2017, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, based on the reported last sale price of common shares on that date: $1,516,381,416.

Number of shares outstanding as of February 26, 2018: 45,897,125 Ordinary Shares, nominal value $0.01 per share.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of our definitive proxy statement for the 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of December 31, 2017, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

 


 

CARDTRONICS PLC

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

   

Page

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements 

 

2

PART I 

 

4

Item 1. 

Business

 

4

Item 1A. 

Risk Factors

 

15

Item 1B. 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

38

Item 2. 

Properties

 

38

Item 3. 

Legal Proceedings

 

39

Item 4. 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

39

PART II 

 

40

Item 5. 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

40

Item 6. 

Selected Financial Data

 

42

Item 7. 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

43

Item 7A. 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

77

Item 8. 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

82

Item 9. 

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

144

Item 9A. 

Controls and Procedures

 

144

Item 9B. 

Other Information

 

145

PART III 

 

146

Item 10. 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

146

Item 11. 

Executive Compensation

 

146

Item 12. 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

 

146

Item 13. 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

146

Item 14. 

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

146

PART IV 

 

147

Item 15. 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

 

147

Item 16. 

Form 10-K Summary

 

147

Signatures 

 

153

 

When we refer to “us,” “we,” “our,” “ours,” “the Company,” or “Cardtronics,” we are describing Cardtronics plc and/or our subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

 

 

 

 


 

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “2017 Form 10-K”) contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and are intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions thereof. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “project,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “future,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “contemplate,” “foresee,” “would,” “could,” “plan,” and similar expressions that are intended to identify forward-looking statements, which are generally not historical in nature. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effect on the Company. While management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable as and when made, there can be no assurance that future developments affecting the Company will be those that are anticipated. All comments concerning the Company’s expectations for future revenues and operating results are based on its estimates for its existing operations and do not include the potential impact of any future acquisitions. The Company’s forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties (some of which are beyond its control) and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from its historical experience and present expectations or projections. Known material factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include:

 

·

the Company’s financial outlook and the financial outlook of the automated teller machines and multi-function financial services kiosks (collectively, “ATMs”) industry and the continued usage of cash by consumers at rates near historical patterns;

·

the Company’s ability to respond to recent and future network and regulatory changes;

·

the Company’s ability to renew its existing merchant relationships on comparable economic terms and add new merchants;

·

the Company’s ability to pursue, complete, and successfully integrate acquisitions;

·

changes in interest rates and foreign currency rates;

·

the Company’s ability to successfully manage its existing international operations and to continue to expand internationally;

·

the Company’s ability to manage concentration risks with key customers, merchants, vendors, and service providers;

·

the Company’s ability to prevent thefts of cash and maintain adequate insurance;

·

the Company’s ability to manage cybersecurity risks and protect against cyber-attacks and manage and prevent data breaches;

·

the Company’s ability to respond to potential reductions in the amount of net interchange fees that it receives from global and regional debit networks for transactions conducted on its ATMs due to pricing changes implemented by those networks as well as changes in how issuers route their ATM transactions over those networks, including recently proposed changes to the LINK interchange rate in the U.K.;

·

the Company’s ability to provide new ATM solutions to retailers and financial institutions including placing additional banks’ brands on ATMs currently deployed;

·

the Company’s ATM vault cash rental needs, including potential liquidity issues with its vault cash providers and its ability to continue to secure vault cash rental agreements in the future on reasonable economic terms;

·

the Company’s ability to manage the risks associated with its third-party service providers failing to perform their contractual obligations;

·

the Company’s ability to renew its existing third party service provider relationships on comparable economic terms;

·

the Company’s ability to successfully implement and evolve its corporate strategy;

·

the Company’s ability to compete successfully with new and existing competitors;

·

the Company’s ability to meet the service levels required by its service level agreements with its customers;

·

the additional risks the Company is exposed to in its United Kingdom (“U.K.”) armored transport business;

·

the impact of changes in laws, including tax laws, that could adversely affect the Company’s business and profitability;

·

the impact of, or uncertainty related to, the U.K.’s planned exit from the European Union, including any material adverse effect on the tax, tax treaty, currency, operational, legal, and regulatory regime and macro-economic environment to which it will be subject to as a U.K. company;

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·

the Company’s ability to react to recent market changes in Australia as a result of recent actions by major banks that may result in lower transaction volumes at the Company’s ATMs; and

·

the Company’s ability to retain its key employees and maintain good relations with its employees.

 

For additional information regarding known material factors that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ from its projected results, see Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors in this 2017 Form 10-K. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements contained in this document, which speak only as of the date of this 2017 Form 10-K. Except as required by applicable law, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements after the date they are made, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

 

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PART I

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

 

Overview

 

Cardtronics plc provides convenient automated consumer financial services through its network of automated teller machines and multi-function financial services kiosks (collectively referred to as “ATMs”). As of December 31, 2017, we were the world’s largest ATM owner/operator, providing services to over 230,000 ATMs.

 

During 2017, 64.4% of our revenues were derived from our operations in North America (including our ATM operations in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico), 26.8% of our revenues were derived from our operations in Europe and Africa  (including our ATM operations in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Spain, South Africa and the recently exited operations in Poland which accounted for less than 1% of total revenues), and 8.8% of our revenues were derived from our operations in Australia and New Zealand.  Included in our network as of December 31, 2017, were approximately 134,000 ATMs to which we provided processing only services or various forms of managed services solutions. Under a managed services arrangement, retailers, financial institutions, and ATM distributors rely on us to handle some or all of the operational aspects associated with operating and maintaining ATMs, typically in exchange for a monthly service fee, fee per transaction, or fee per service provided.

 

Through our network, we deliver financial related services to cardholders and provide ATM management and ATM equipment-related services (typically under multi-year contracts) to large retail merchants, smaller retailers, and operators of facilities such as shopping malls, airports, and train stations. In doing so, we provide our retail partners with a compelling automated financial services solution that helps attract and retain customers, and in turn, increases the likelihood that our ATMs will be utilized. We also own and operate electronic funds transfer (“EFT”) transaction processing platforms that provide transaction processing services to our network of ATMs, as well as to other ATMs under managed services arrangements. Additionally, in Canada, through our acquisition of DirectCash Payments Inc. (“DCPayments”), we also provide processing services for issuers of debit cards.

 

We generally operate ATMs under three arrangement types with our retail partners: Company-owned ATM placements, merchant-owned ATM placements, and managed services (which includes transaction processing services). Under Company-owned arrangements, we provide the physical ATM and are typically responsible for all aspects of the ATM’s operations, including transaction processing, managing cash and cash delivery, supplies, and telecommunications, as well as routine and technical maintenance. Under merchant-owned arrangements, the retail merchant or an independent distributor owns the ATM and is usually responsible for providing cash and performing simple maintenance tasks, while we provide more complex maintenance services, transaction processing, and connection to the EFT networks. We also offer various forms of managed services, depending on the needs of our customers. Each managed service arrangement is a customized ATM management solution that can include any combination of the following services: monitoring, maintenance, cash management, cash delivery, customer service, transaction processing, and other services. As of December 31, 2017,  35.3% of our ATMs operated were Company-owned and 64.7% of our ATMs were merchant-owned or operated under a managed services solution. Each of the arrangement types described above are attractive to us, and we plan to continue growing our revenues under each arrangement type.

 

In addition to our retail merchant relationships, we also partner with leading financial institutions to brand selected ATMs within our network, including BBVA Compass Bancshares, Inc. (“BBVA”), Citibank, N.A. (“Citibank”), Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (“Citizens”), Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (“Cullen/Frost”), Discover Bank (“Discover”), PNC Bank, N.A. (“PNC Bank”), Santander Bank, N.A. (“Santander”), and TD Bank, N.A. (“TD Bank”) in the U.S.; the Bank of Nova Scotia (“Scotiabank”), TD Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank Commerce (“CIBC”), and DirectCash Bank in Canada; and Bank of Queensland Limited (“BOQ”) and HSBC Holdings plc (“HSBC”) in Australia. In Mexico, we partner with Scotiabank to place their brands on our ATMs in exchange for certain services provided by them. As of December 31, 2017, approximately 20,000 of our ATMs were under contract with approximately 500 financial institutions to place their logos on the ATMs, and to provide convenient surcharge-free access for their banking customers.

 

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We also own and operate the Allpoint network (“Allpoint”), the largest surcharge-free ATM network (based on the number of participating ATMs). Allpoint, with approximately 55,000 participating ATMs, provides surcharge-free ATM access to over 1,000 participating banks, credit unions, and stored-value debit card issuers. For participants, Allpoint provides scale, density, and convenience of surcharge-free ATMs that surpasses the largest banks in the U.S. In exchange, Allpoint earns either a fixed monthly fee per cardholder or a fixed fee per transaction that is paid by participants. The Allpoint network includes a majority of our Company-owned ATMs in the U.S., a portion of our Company-owned ATMs in the U.K., Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico as well as certain ATMs in Australia. Allpoint also works with financial institutions that manage stored-value debit card programs on behalf of corporate entities and governmental agencies, including general purpose, payroll, and electronic benefits transfer (“EBT”) cards. Under these programs, the issuing financial institutions pay Allpoint a fee per issued stored-value debit card or per transaction in return for allowing the users of those cards surcharge-free access to Allpoint’s participating ATM network.

 

Our revenues are generally recurring in nature, and historically have been derived largely from convenience transaction fees, which are paid by cardholders, as well as other transaction-based fees, including interchange fees, which are paid by the cardholder’s financial institution for the use of the ATMs serving their customers and connectivity to the applicable EFT network that transmits data between the ATM and the cardholder’s financial institution. Other revenue sources include: (i) fees for branding our ATMs with the logos of financial institutions and providing financial institution cardholders with surcharge free access, (ii) revenues earned by providing managed services (including transaction processing services) solutions to retailers and financial institutions, (iii) fees from financial institutions that participate in our Allpoint surcharge-free network, (iv) fees earned from foreign currency exchange transactions at the ATM, known as dynamic currency conversion, and (v) revenues from the sale of ATMs and ATM-related equipment and other ancillary services.

 

Organizational and Operational History

 

We were formed as a Texas corporation in 1993 and originally operated under the name of Cardpro, Inc. In June 2001, Cardtronics Group, Inc. was incorporated under the laws of the state of Delaware and became the parent company for the existing business. In January 2004, Cardtronics Group, Inc. changed its name to Cardtronics, Inc. (“Cardtronics Delaware”). In December 2007, we completed an initial public offering of 12,000,000 common shares.

 

In July 2016, the location of incorporation of the parent company of the Cardtronics group of companies was changed from Delaware to the U.K., whereby Cardtronics plc, a public limited company organized under English law (“Cardtronics plc”), became the new publicly traded corporate parent of the Cardtronics group of companies following the completion of the merger between Cardtronics Delaware and one of its subsidiaries (the “Merger”). The Merger was completed pursuant to the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated April 27, 2016, the adoption of which was approved by Cardtronics Delaware’s shareholders on June 28, 2016 (collectively, the “Redomicile Transaction”). Pursuant to the Redomicile Transaction, each issued and outstanding common share of Cardtronics Delaware held immediately prior to the Merger was effectively converted into one Class A Ordinary Share, nominal value $0.01 per share, of Cardtronics plc (collectively, “common shares”). Upon completion, the common shares were listed and began trading on The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC under the symbol “CATM,” the same symbol under which common shares of Cardtronics Delaware were formerly listed and traded. The Redomicile Transaction was accounted for as an internal reorganization of entities under common control, and therefore, Cardtronics Delaware’s assets and liabilities have been accounted for at their historical cost basis and not revalued in the transaction.

 

A large portion of our growth throughout our operating history has been driven by acquisitions as we have expanded our operations in the U.S. and into several other new geographic markets in North America and Europe. Our largest markets are currently the U.S. and the U.K. On January 6, 2017, we completed the acquisition of DirectCash Payments Inc. (“DCPayments”), a publicly listed (Toronto Stock Exchange), leading operator of approximately 25,000 ATMs with primary operations in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., and Mexico. On January 31, 2017, we completed the acquisition of Spark ATM Systems (“Spark”), an independent ATM deployer in South Africa, with a growing network of approximately 2,300 ATMs as of the date of acquisition.

 

From 2001 to 2017, the total number of annual transactions processed within our network of ATMs increased from approximately 19.9 million to approximately 2.6 billion.

 

5


 

 

Additional Company Information

 

General information about us can be found on our website at http://www.cardtronics.com. We file annual, quarterly, and current reports as well as other information electronically with the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) under the Exchange Act. Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to those reports are available free of charge on our website as soon as reasonably practicable after the reports are filed or furnished electronically with the SEC. You may read and copy any materials that we file with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20549. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at http://www.sec.gov. You may also request an electronic or paper copy of our SEC filings at no cost by writing or telephoning us at the following: Cardtronics plc, Attention: Chief Financial Officer, 3250 Briarpark Drive, Suite 400, Houston, Texas 77042; (832) 308-4000. Information on our website is not incorporated into this 2017 Form 10-K or our other securities filings.

 

Our Strategy

 

Our strategy is to leverage the expertise and scale we have built in our largest markets and to continue to expand in those markets. Additionally, we seek to grow in our other markets and expand into new international markets over time in order to enhance our position as a leading global provider of automated consumer financial services. We plan to drive additional transactions at our existing ATMs by making them increasingly attractive to banks and their customers to use. We also plan to continue partnering with leading financial institutions and retailers to expand our network of conveniently located ATMs. We also intend to expand our capabilities and service offerings to financial institutions, particularly in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia where we have established businesses and where we are seeing increasing demand from financial institutions for outsourcing of ATM-related services, including, in some cases, management of in-branch ATMs. Additional demand for our products and services in these markets is being driven by banks reducing the number of physical branches they operate and bank initiatives to lower their operating and capital costs. Additionally, we seek to deploy additional products and services that will further incentivize consumers to utilize our network of ATMs. In the future, we may seek to diversify our revenues beyond services provided by our ATMs. In order to execute our strategy, we endeavor to:

 

Increase our number of deployed ATMs with existing and new merchant relationships. Certain of our retail customers continue to expand the number of active store locations they operate, either through acquisitions or through new store openings, thus providing us with additional ATM deployment opportunities. Additionally, we seek opportunities to deploy ATMs with new retailers, including retailers that currently do not have ATMs, as well as those that have existing ATM programs, but that are looking for a new ATM provider. We believe our expertise, broad geographic footprint, strong record of customer service, and significant scale positions us to successfully market to and enter into long-term contracts with additional leading merchants.

 

Expand our relationships with leading financial institutions. Through our merchant relationships as well as our diverse product and service offerings, we believe we can provide our existing financial institution customers with convenient solutions to fulfill their growing ATM and automated consumer financial services requirements. Further, we believe we can leverage our product offerings to attract additional financial institutions as customers. Services currently offered to financial institutions include branding our ATMs with their logos, on-screen advertising and content management, providing image remote deposit capture, providing surcharge-free access to their cardholders, and providing managed services for their ATM portfolios. Our EFT transaction processing platforms enable us to provide customized control over the content of the information appearing on the screens of our ATMs and ATMs we process for financial institutions, which increases the types of products and services we are able to offer to financial institutions. We also plan to continue growing the number of ATMs and financial institutions participating in our Allpoint network, which drives higher transaction counts and profitability on our existing ATMs and increases our value to the retailers where our ATMs are located through increased foot traffic at their stores. As discussed above, we are seeing increasing demand from financial institutions for outsourcing of ATM-related services, as recent industry trends have caused banks to want to reduce their physical footprints and transform their existing branches to focus less on human tellers and increasingly utilize automation,

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through ATMs and other digital channels, for serving their customers. While outsourcing of ATM-related services for financial institutions is not a significant driver of our revenues today, we believe we currently possess the capabilities to deliver value to financial institutions and plan to dedicate additional resources to drive growth in this area.

 

Work with non-traditional financial institutions and card issuers to further leverage our extensive ATM network. We believe there are opportunities to develop or expand relationships with non-traditional financial institutions and card issuers, such as reloadable stored-value debit card issuers and alternative payment networks, which are seeking an extensive and convenient ATM network to complement their card offerings and electronic-based accounts. Additionally, we believe that many of the stored-value debit card issuers in the U.S. can benefit by providing their cardholders with access to our ATM network on a discounted or fee-free basis. For example, through our Allpoint network, we have sold access to our ATM network to issuers of stored-value debit cards to provide their cardholders with convenient, surcharge-free access to cash.

 

Increase transaction levels at our existing locations. We believe there are opportunities to increase the number of transactions that are occurring today at our existing ATM locations. On average, only a small fraction of the individuals that enter our retail customers’ locations utilize our ATMs. In addition to our existing initiatives that tend to drive additional transaction volumes to our ATMs, such as bank-branding and network-branding, we have developed and are continuing to develop new initiatives to drive incremental transactions to our existing ATM locations. We also operate and continue to develop programs to steer cardholders of our existing financial institution partners and members of our Allpoint network to visit our ATMs in convenient retail locations. These programs may include incentives to cardholders such as coupons and rewards that influence customers to visit our ATMs within our existing retail footprint. While we are in various stages of developing and implementing many of these programs, we believe that these programs, when properly structured, can benefit multiple constituents (i.e., retailers, financial institutions, and cardholders) in addition to driving increased transaction volumes to our ATMs.

 

Develop and provide additional services at our existing ATMs. The majority of our ATMs in service currently offer only cash dispensing and other simple transactions such as balance inquiries. We believe that there are opportunities to offer additional automated consumer financial services at our ATMs, such as cash and check deposit, and other products which could provide a compelling and cost-effective solution for financial institutions and stored-value debit card issuers looking to provide convenient and broader financial services to their customers at well-known retail locations. We also allow advertisers to place their messages on our ATMs equipped with on-screen advertising software in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Offering additional services at our ATMs, such as advertising, allows us to create new revenue streams from assets that have already been deployed, in addition to providing value to our customers through beneficial offers and convenient services. We plan to develop additional products and services that can be delivered through our existing ATM network.

 

Pursue additional managed services opportunities. Over the last several years, we expanded the number of ATMs that are operated under managed services arrangements. Under these arrangements, retailers and financial institutions generally pay us a fixed management fee per ATM and/or a fixed fee per transaction in exchange for handling some or all of the operational aspects associated with operating and maintaining their own ATMs. Surcharge and interchange fees under these arrangements are generally earned by the retailer or the financial institution rather than by us. As a result, in this arrangement type, our revenues are partially protected from fluctuations in transaction levels of these ATMs and changes in network interchange rates. We plan to continue pursuing additional managed services opportunities with leading merchants and financial institutions in the markets in which we operate.

 

For additional information related to items that may impact our strategy, see Part II. Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Developing Trends and Recent Events.

 

Our Products and Services

 

Under our Company-owned arrangement type, we typically provide all of the services required to operate ATMs, which include monitoring, maintenance, cash management, customer service, and transaction processing. We believe our merchant and financial institution customers value our high level of service, industry expertise, and established operating history. In connection with the operation of our ATMs under our traditional ATM services model, we earn revenue on a

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per transaction basis from the surcharge fees charged to cardholders for the convenience of using our ATMs and from interchange fees charged to cardholders’ financial institutions for processing the transactions conducted on our ATMs. As further described below, we also earn revenues on these ATMs based on our relationships with certain financial institutions and from our Allpoint network.

 

Under our merchant-owned arrangement type, we typically provide transaction processing services, certain customer support functions, and settlement services. We generally earn interchange revenue on a per transaction basis in this arrangement. In some cases, the surcharge is earned completely by the merchant, in which case our revenues are derived solely from interchange revenues. In other arrangements, we also share a portion of the surcharge revenues.

 

For ATMs under managed services arrangements (including transaction processing arrangements), we typically receive a fixed monthly management fee and/or fixed fee per transaction in return for providing the agreed-upon service or suite of services. We do not generally receive surcharge and interchange fees in these arrangements, but rather those amounts are earned by our customer.

 

We also earn revenues from other services at our ATMs, such as dynamic currency conversion fees, on-screen advertising, and other transaction-based fees, across our various arrangement types.

 

The following table summarizes the number of ATMs under our various arrangement types as of December 31, 2017:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ATM Operations

 

 

Company - Owned

 

Merchant - Owned

 

Subtotal

 

Managed Services and Processing

 

Total

Number of ATMs at period end

 

81,542

 

 

14,997

 

 

96,539

 

 

134,156

 

 

230,695

 

Percentage

 

35.3

%

 

6.5

%

 

41.8

%

 

58.2

%

 

100.0

%

 

We have found that the primary factor affecting transaction volumes at a given ATM is its location. Therefore, our strategy in deploying ATMs, particularly those placed under Company-owned arrangements, is to identify and deploy ATMs at locations that provide high visibility and high retail transaction volume. Our experience has demonstrated that the following locations often meet these criteria: convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, drug stores, transportation hubs (e.g., airports and train stations), and other major regional and national retail outlets. We have entered into multi-year agreements with many well-known merchants, including Bi-Lo Holdings, LLC, Coles Supermarket Australia Pty Ltd.,  CST Brands a division of Alimentation Couche-Tard (“Corner Store”), Cumberland Farms, Inc., CVS Caremark Corporation (“CVS”), HEB Grocery Company, L.P., The Kroger Co., The Pantry, Inc. (“Pantry”), Rite Aid Corporation, Safeway, Inc., Speedway LLC (“Speedway”), Sunoco, Inc., Target Corporation, and Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (“Walgreens”) in the U.S.; Bank of Ireland Group, BP p.l.c., BT Group plc, Co-operative Food (“Co-op Food”), Martin McColl Ltd., Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Southern Railway Ltd., Tates Ltd., Waitrose Ltd., and Welcome Break Holdings Ltd. in the U.K.; Cadena Comercial OXXO S.A. de C.V. in Mexico; and 7-Eleven, Inc. (“7-Eleven”) in Canada and Australia.

 

We generally operate our ATMs under multi-year contracts that provide a recurring and stable source of revenue and typically have an initial term of five to seven years. For the year ended December 31, 2017, our contracts with our top five merchant customers (7-Eleven, Walgreens, CVS, Co-op Food (in the U.K.), and Speedway) accounted for approximately 30.9% of our total revenues, inclusive of our 7-Eleven relationship in the U.S. which accounted for 12.5% of our total revenues. Excluding 7-Eleven in the U.S., which we expect to account for less than 1% of our total revenues in 2018, the next top four contracts accounted for approximately 18.4% of our total revenues during the year ended December 31, 2017, and had a weighted average remaining life of approximately 3.8 years. As further discussed in Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Developing Trends and Recent Events, we began to remove our ATMs from 7-Eleven U.S. locations during 2017, and all of our ATMs at 7-Eleven U.S. locations are expected to be removed during the first few months of 2018. As a result, our revenues are expected to decline in 2018 from what we reported in 2017. For additional information related to the risks associated with our customer mix, see Item 1A. Risk Factors - We derive a substantial portion of our revenue from ATMs placed with a small number of merchants. The expiration, termination or renegotiation of any of these contracts with our top merchants, or if one or more of our top

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merchants were to cease doing business with us, or substantially reduce its dealings with us, could cause our revenues to decline significantly and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely impacted.

 

Additionally, we enter into arrangements with financial institutions to brand selected Company-owned ATMs with their logos. These bank-branding arrangements allow a financial institution to expand its geographic presence for less than the cost of building a branch location or placing one of its own ATMs at that location and rapidly increase its number of bank-branded ATM sites and improve its competitive position. Under these arrangements, the financial institution’s customers have access to use the bank-branded ATMs without paying a surcharge fee to us. In return, we receive a fixed management fee per ATM from the financial institution, while retaining our standard fee schedule for other cardholders using the bank-branded ATMs. In addition, our bank-branded ATMs typically earn higher interchange revenue as a result of the increased usage of our ATMs by the branding financial institution’s customers and others who prefer to use a bank-branded ATM. In some instances, we have branded an ATM with more than one financial institution. We intend to continue pursuing additional bank-branding arrangements as part of our growth strategy.

 

In addition to our bank-branding arrangements, we offer financial institutions another type of surcharge-free solution to their cardholders through our Allpoint surcharge-free ATM network. Under the Allpoint network, participating financial institutions pay us either a fixed monthly fee per cardholder or a fixed fee per transaction in exchange for us providing their cardholders with surcharge-free ATM access to approximately 55,000 participating ATMs in our Allpoint network, which includes ATMs throughout the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. We believe our Allpoint network offers an attractive alternative for financial institutions that lack their own extensive and convenient ATM network, including the issuers of stored-value debit cards.

 

For additional information related to the amount of revenue contributed by our various service offerings, see Part II. Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Components of Revenues, Costs of Revenues, and Expenses - Revenues.

 

Segment and Geographic Information

 

As of December 31, 2017,  we operate in three segments: North America, Europe & Africa, and Australia & New Zealand. Our North America segment includes ATM operations in all 50 states in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, and accounted for 64.4% of our total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017. Our Europe & Africa segment includes our ATM operations in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Poland, Spain, and South Africa, and accounted for 26.8% of our total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017. Our Australia & New Zealand segment includes Australia and New Zealand and accounted for 8.8% of our total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017. While each of the reporting segments provides similar kiosk-based and/or ATM-related services, each segment is managed separately and requires different marketing and business strategies.

 

As the integration of DCPayments (acquired in January 2017) progressed throughout the second quarter of 2017, the Company separated the DCPayments operations into their respective geographical components, including them within the Company’s geographical segments and reorganized its segments into North America, Europe & Africa, and Australia & New Zealand. The North America segment includes the Company’s transaction processing operations, which service its internal ATM operations, along with external customers. The transaction processing operations were previously reported in the Company’s Corporate & Other segment. Segment information presented for prior periods has been revised to reflect the changes in the Company’s segments.

 

For financial information including revenues, earnings, and total assets of our reporting segments, see Part II. Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 20. Segment Information. For additional information related to the risks associated with our international operations, see Item 1A. Risk Factors - We operate in many sovereign jurisdictions across the globe and expect to continue to grow our business in new regions. Operating in different countries involves special risks and our geographic expansion may not be successful, which would result in a reduction of our gross and net profits.

 

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Sales and Marketing

 

In the U.S., our sales and marketing teams are organized by customer type across retail and financial industries. We have teams focused on developing new relationships with national, regional, and local merchants as well as building and maintaining relationships with our existing merchants and ATM distributors. In addition, we have sales and marketing teams focused on developing and managing our bank-branding and Allpoint relationships with financial institutions and stored-value debit card issuers, as we look to expand the types of services that we offer to such institutions. Our sales and marketing teams also focus on identifying potential managed services opportunities with financial institutions and retailers alike. Additionally, we maintain sales teams in each of the other geographic markets in which we currently operate.

 

In addition to targeting new business opportunities, our sales and marketing teams support our customer retention and growth initiatives by building and maintaining relationships with our established and recently-acquired merchants. We seek to identify growth opportunities within merchant accounts by analyzing ATM cardholder patterns. We also analyze foot traffic and various demographic data to determine the best opportunities for new ATM placements, as well as the potential drivers for increasing same-store ATM transactions that will positively impact merchant store sales. Employees who focus on sales are typically compensated with a combination of incentive-based compensation and base salary.

 

Technology and Operations

 

Our technology and operations platforms consist of ATMs, central transaction processing systems, network infrastructure components (including hardware, software, and telecommunication circuits used to provide real-time ATM monitoring, software distribution, and transaction processing services), cash management and forecasting software tools, customer service, and ATM management infrastructure.

 

Equipment. We purchase our ATMs from global manufacturers, including, but not limited to, NCR Corporation (“NCR”), Nautilus Hyosung, Inc. (“Hyosung”), Diebold Incorporated (“Diebold”), Triton Systems (“Triton”), and Chungho ComNet (“Chungho”) and place them in our customers’ locations. The wide range of advanced technology available from these ATM manufacturers provides our customers with advanced features and reliability through sophisticated diagnostics and self-testing routines.

 

Transaction processing. We place significant emphasis on providing quality service with a high level of security and minimal interruption. We have carefully selected support vendors and systems, as well as developed internal professional staff to optimize the performance of our network. Since 2006, we have operated our own EFT transaction processing platforms, which were further expanded with our acquisition of Columbus Data Services, L.L.C. (“CDS”) in 2015. EFT transaction processing enables us to process and monitor transactions on our ATMs and to control the flow and content of information appearing on the screens of such ATMs. We have also implemented new products and services such as foreign currency exchange services, such as dynamic currency conversion, and have introduced targeted marketing campaigns through on-screen advertising.

 

Internal systems. Our internal systems, including our EFT transaction processing platforms, include multiple layers of security to help protect the systems from unauthorized access. We use hardware- and software- based security features to prevent and report unauthorized access attempts to our systems. We employ user authentication and security measures at multiple levels. These systems are protected by detailed security rules to only allow appropriate access to information based on the employee’s job responsibilities. Changes to systems are controlled by policies and procedures, with automatic prevention and reporting controls that are placed within our processes. Our real-time connections to the various financial institutions’ authorization systems that allow withdrawals, balance inquiries, transfers, and advanced functionality transactions are accomplished through gateway relationships or direct connections. We use commercially-available and proprietary software that monitors the performance of the ATMs in our network, including details of transactions at each ATM and expenses relating to the ATMs, further allowing us to monitor our on-line availability and financial profitability at each location. We analyze transaction volume and profitability data to determine whether to continue operating at a given site, to determine how to price various operating arrangements with merchants and bank-branding partners, and to create a profile of successful locations to assist us in deciding the best locations for additional deployments.

 

Product development. In recent years we have made investments to develop new technology which we anticipate will drive transaction volume at our ATMs. In March 2013, we acquired i-design, a Scotland-based company providing technology and marketing services for ATM operators to enable custom screens, graphical receipt content, and advertising

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and marketing data capture on the ATM. We expect to continue to grow and leverage the products and services of this business within our own network of ATMs and with select external parties. Additionally, we have a product development team focused on improving existing products and services as well as delivering new capabilities that generally leverage our existing platform. Internal product development is an increasing focus for the company, and we expect over time, our product development will drive revenue growth. Examples of recent and continued product development include dynamic currency conversion at the ATM, promotional consumer offers, and the ability to convert stored value digital currency into cash at the ATM. A number of products are currently in various stages of development, pilot, and rollout.

 

ATM cash management. Our ATM cash management function uses commercially-available software and proprietary analytical models to determine the necessary fill frequency and cash load amount for each ATM. We project vault cash requirements for our Company-owned and cash-serviced ATMs, taking into consideration its location, the day of the week, the timing of holidays, and other factors such as specific events occurring in the vicinity of the ATM. After receiving a cash order from us, the vault cash provider forwards the request to its vault location nearest to the applicable ATM. Personnel at the vault location then arrange for the requested amount of cash to be set aside and made available for the designated armored courier to access and subsequently transport to the ATM. Our ATM cash management department utilizes data from the vault cash providers, internally-produced data, and a proprietary methodology to confirm daily orders, audit delivery of cash to armored couriers and ATMs, monitor cash balances for cash shortages, coordinate and manage emergency cash orders, and audit costs from both armored couriers and vault cash providers.

 

In the U.K., we operate our own armored courier operation which we significantly expanded through the acquisition of Sunwin Services Group (“Sunwin”) in November 2014. As of December 31, 2017, this operation was servicing approximately 14,900 of our ATMs in the U.K.

 

Customer service. We believe one of the factors that differentiates us from our competitors is our customer service responsiveness and proactive approach to managing any downtime experienced by our ATMs. We use an advanced software and skilled technicians that monitor our ATMs 24 hours a day for service interruptions and notify our maintenance engineers and vendors for prompt dispatch of necessary service calls.

 

Finally, we use proprietary software systems to maintain a database of transactions and performance metrics for our ATMs. This data is aggregated into individual merchant and financial institution customer profiles that are accessible by our customer service representatives and managers. We believe our proprietary databases enable us to provide superior quality and reliable customer support, together with information on trends that is valuable to our retail and financial institution partners.

 

Primary Vendor Relationships

 

To maintain an efficient and flexible operating structure, we outsource certain aspects of our operations, including cash supply and cash delivery, maintenance, and certain transaction processing services. Due to the large number of ATMs we operate, we believe we have obtained favorable pricing terms from most of our major vendors. We contract for the provision of the services described below in connection with our operations.

 

Transaction processing. We own and operate EFT transaction processing platforms that utilize proprietary as well as commercially-available software. Historically, our processing efforts have been primarily focused on controlling the flow and content of information on the ATM screen, and we have largely relied on third-party service providers to handle our connections to the EFT networks and to perform certain funds settlement and reconciliation procedures on our behalf. The third-party transaction processors communicate with the cardholder’s financial institution through various EFT networks in order to obtain transaction authorizations and to provide us with the information we need to ensure that the related funds are properly settled. In addition, we have developed a capability to connect to major financial institutions and certain networks on a direct or virtually-direct basis, and we expanded this direct model with our CDS acquisition in 2015. As a result of our past acquisitions, a portion of our withdrawal transactions are currently processed through other third-party processors, with whom the acquired businesses had existing contractual relationships. We plan to convert transaction processing services to our internal EFT transaction processing platforms when economically advantageous to us or as these contracts expire or are terminated.

 

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EFT network services. Our transactions are routed over various EFT networks to obtain authorization for cash disbursements and to provide account balances. EFT networks set the interchange fees that they charge to the financial institutions, as well as the amount paid to us. We attempt to maximize the utility of our ATMs to cardholders by participating in as many EFT networks as practical. Additionally, we own and operate the Allpoint network, the largest surcharge-free network in the U.S. Having this network further enhances our ATM utility by providing certain cardholders surcharge-free access to our ATMs, as well as allowing us to receive network-related economic benefits such as receiving additional transaction-based revenue and setting interchange rates on transactions over this network.

 

Equipment. We purchase substantially all of our ATMs from a number of global ATM manufacturers, including, but not limited to, NCR, Hyosung, Triton, Diebold, and Chungho. The large quantity of ATMs that we purchase from these manufacturers enables us to receive favorable pricing and terms. In addition, we maintain close working relationships with these manufacturers in the course of our business, allowing us to stay informed about product updates and to receive prompt attention for any technical problems with purchased ATM equipment. The favorable pricing we receive from these manufacturers also allows us to offer certain of our customers an affordable solution to replace their ATMs to be compliant with new regulatory requirements as they arise.

 

Maintenance. In the U.S., we generally contract with third-party service providers for on-site maintenance services in most of our markets. In the U.K., maintenance services are mostly performed by our in-house technicians.

 

ATM cash management. We obtain cash to fill our Company-owned ATMs, and in some cases merchant-owned and managed services ATMs, under arrangements with various vault cash providers. We pay a monthly fee based on the average outstanding vault cash balances to our primary vault cash providers under a floating rate formula, which is generally based on various benchmark interest rates such as London Interbank Offered Rates (“LIBOR”). In virtually all cases, beneficial ownership of the cash is retained by the vault cash providers, and we have no right to the cash and no access except for the ATMs that are serviced by our wholly-owned armored courier operations in the U.K. While our U.K. armored courier operations have physical access to the cash loaded in the ATMs, beneficial ownership of that cash remains with the vault cash provider at all times. We also contract with third-parties to provide us with certain cash management services, which varies by geography, which may include reporting, armored courier coordination, cash ordering, cash insurance, reconciliation of ATM cash balances, and claims processing with armored couriers, financial institutions, and processors.

 

For the quarter ended December 31, 2017, we had an average outstanding vault cash balance of approximately $2.3 billion in cash in our North America ATMs under arrangements with Bank of America, N.A. (“Bank of America”), Wells Fargo, N.A. (“Wells Fargo”), Elan Financial Services (“Elan”) (a division of U.S. Bancorp), and Capital One Financial Corp. (“Capital One”). In Europe & Africa, the average outstanding vault cash balance was approximately $1.4 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2017, which was primarily supplied by Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland (“RBS”), HSBC Holdings plc (“HSBC”), and Barclays PLC (“Barclays”). In Australia & New Zealand, the average outstanding vault cash balance for the quarter ended December 31, 2017, was approximately $250 million, which was primarily supplied by National Australia Bank Limited (“NAB”) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (“ANZ”). For additional information related to our vault cash agreements and the related risks, see Item 1A. Risk Factors - We rely on third-parties to provide us with the cash we require to operate many of our ATMs. If these third-parties were unable or unwilling to provide us with the necessary cash to operate our ATMs, we would need to locate alternative sources of cash to operate our ATMs or we would not be able to operate our business.

 

The vault cash that we are contractually responsible for in all of the jurisdictions in which we operate is insured up to certain per location loss limits and subject to per incident and annual aggregate deductibles through a syndicate of multiple underwriters.

 

Cash replenishment. We contract with armored courier services to transport and transfer most of the cash to our ATMs. We use leading third-party armored couriers in all of our jurisdictions except for in the U.K., where we primarily utilize our own armored courier operations. Under these arrangements, the armored couriers pick up the cash in bulk, and using instructions received from us and our vault cash providers, prepare the cash for delivery to each ATM on the designated fill day. Following a predetermined schedule, the armored couriers visit each location on the designated fill day, load cash into each ATM, and then balance each machine and provide cash reporting to the applicable vault cash provider.

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Merchant Customers

 

In each of our markets, we typically deploy our Company-owned ATMs under long-term contracts with major national and regional merchants, including convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, drug stores, and other high-traffic locations. Our merchant-owned ATMs are typically deployed under arrangements with smaller independent merchants.

 

The terms of our merchant contracts vary as a result of negotiations at the time of execution. In the case of Company-owned ATMs, the contract terms vary, but typically include the following:

 

·

a multi-year term, typically five to seven years;

·

exclusive deployment of ATMs at locations where we install an ATM;

·

the right to increase surcharge fees, with merchant consent required in some cases;

·

in the U.S., our right to terminate or remove ATMs or renegotiate the fees payable to the merchant if surcharge fees or interchange fees are reduced or eliminated as a result of regulatory action; and

·

provisions that make the merchant’s fee dependent on the number of ATM transactions.

 

During the year ended December 31, 2017, we derived approximately 30.9% of our total revenues from ATMs placed at the locations of our top five merchant customers. 7-Eleven in the U.S. is currently the largest merchant customer in our portfolio, representing approximately 12.5% of our total revenues for the year. The next four largest merchant customers together comprised approximately 18.4% of our total revenues for the year. The 7-Eleven ATM placement agreement in the U.S. expired in July 2017, and most of the ATM operations have been transitioned to the new service provider as of December 31, 2017. After 7-Eleven, our next four largest merchant customers were Co-op Food (in the U.K.), Walgreens, CVS, and Speedway, none of which individually contributed more than 6% of our total revenues for the year. The weighted average remaining life of the four largest merchant customers (excluding 7-Eleven in the U.S.) is approximately 3.8 years. For additional information related to the risks associated with our customer mix, see Item 1A. Risk Factors - We derive a substantial portion of our revenue from ATMs placed with a small number of merchants. The expiration, termination or renegotiation of any of these contracts with our top merchants, or if one or more of our top merchants were to cease doing business with us, or substantially reduce its dealings with us, could cause our revenues to decline significantly and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely impacted.

 

Seasonality

 

Our overall business is somewhat seasonal in nature, with generally fewer transactions occurring in the first quarter of the year. Transaction volumes at our ATMs located in regions affected by strong winter weather patterns typically experience declines in volume during winter months as a result of decreases in the amount of consumer traffic through such locations. We usually see an increase in transactions in the warmer summer months, which are also aided by increased vacation and holiday travel. We expect these fluctuations in transaction volumes to continue in the future.

 

Competition

 

Historically, we have competed with financial institutions and other independent ATM deployers (commonly referred to as “IADs”) for ATM placements, new merchant accounts, bank-branding, and acquisitions. IADs compete with us for placement rights at merchant locations. Our ATMs compete with the ATMs owned and operated by financial institutions and other IADs for underlying consumer transactions. In certain locations with very high foot traffic, such as airports or major train stations, large arenas or stadiums, we often see competition from large financial institutions as they may utilize such locations for marketing and advertising purposes, and in some cases are willing to subsidize the operations of the ATM. Recently, we have seen somewhat less competition from financial institutions seeking to place ATMs directly at merchant locations.

 

We have established relationships with leading national and regional financial institutions through our bank-branding program and our Allpoint network. Both of these programs can be cost-efficient alternatives to financial institutions in lieu of operating branches and owning and operating extensive ATM networks. We believe the scale of our extensive network,

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our EFT transaction processing services, and our focus on customer service provide us with competitive advantages for providing services to leading financial institutions.

 

Through our Allpoint surcharge-free network, we have significantly expanded our relationships with local, regional, and national financial institutions as well as large issuers of stored-value debit card programs. With regard to our Allpoint network, we encounter competition from other organizations’ surcharge-free networks that are seeking to sell their network to retail locations and offer surcharge-free ATM access to issuers of stored-value debit cards, as well as financial institutions that lack large ATM footprints.

 

We work to continually develop the types of services we provide to financial institutions and merchants, including management of their ATMs. With respect to our managed services offering, we believe we are well-positioned to offer a comprehensive ATM outsourcing solution with our breadth of services, in-house expertise, and network of existing locations that can leverage the economies of scale required to operate an ATM portfolio. There are several large financial services companies, ATM equipment manufacturers, and service providers that currently offer some of the services we provide, with whom we expect to compete directly in this area. In spite of this, we believe that we have unique advantages that will allow us to offer a compelling solution to financial institutions and retailers alike.

 

We have also historically competed for acquisition opportunities in each of the markets in which we operate. Acquisitions have been a consistent part of our strategy and may form part of our strategy in the future. Typically, competition for acquisitions is from other IADs, financial service or payments businesses, and/or private equity sponsors of ATM portfolios.

 

Finally, we face indirect competition from alternative payment mechanisms, such as card-based payments or other electronic forms of payment, including payment applications on mobile phones. While it has been difficult to specifically quantify the direct effects from alternative payment sources on our transaction volumes, cash-based payments have declined as a percentage of total payments in our primary geographic markets in recent years. Further expansion in electronic payment forms and the entry of new and less traditional competitors could reduce demand for cash at merchant locations. We expect to continue to face competition from emerging payments technology in the future. See Item 1A. Risk Factors - The proliferation of payment options other than cash, including credit cards, debit cards, stored-value debit cards, and mobile payments options could result in a reduced need for cash in the marketplace and a resulting decline in the usage of our ATMs.

 

Government and Industry Regulation

 

Our principal business, ATM network ownership and operation, is subject to government (federal, state, or local) and industry regulations. Our failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could result in restrictions on our ability to provide our products and services in such jurisdictions, as well as the imposition of civil fines. For additional information related to recent regulatory matters that have impacted our operations or are expected to impact us in the future, see Part II. Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Developing Trends and Recent Events.  

 

Risk Management

 

We have adopted a formalized Enterprise Risk Management program that seeks to identify and manage the major risks we face. The major risks are prioritized and assigned to a member of the management team who develops mitigation plans, monitors the risk activity, and is responsible for implementation of the mitigation plan, if necessary. The risks, plans, and activities are monitored by our management team and Board of Directors on a regular basis.

 

Employees

 

As of December 31, 2017, we had 2,271 employees,  130 of which were represented by a union or covered by a collective bargaining agreement. We currently believe our relationships with employees represented by unions are good, and we have not experienced any work stoppages.

 

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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

Risks associated with our industry

 

The proliferation of payment options other than cash, including credit cards, debit cards, stored-value debit cards, and mobile payments options could result in a reduced need for cash in the marketplace and a resulting decline in the usage of our ATMs.

 

The U.S., the U.K., and other developed markets have seen a shift in consumer payment trends since the late 1990’s, with more customers now opting for electronic forms of payment (e.g., credit cards and debit cards) for their in-store purchases over traditional paper-based forms of payment (e.g., cash and checks). Additionally, some merchants offer free cash back at the point-of-sale (“POS”) for customers that utilize debit cards for their purchases, thus providing an additional incentive for consumers to use these cards. According to the Nilson Report issued in December 2017, the percentage of cash transaction counts in the U.S. declined from approximately 32.9% of all payment transactions in 2011 to approximately 26.2% in 2016, with declines also seen in check usage as credit, debit, and stored-value debit card transactions increased. However, in terms of absolute dollar value, the volume of cash used in payment transactions remained relatively flat at $1.6 trillion from 2011 to 2016. On a same-store basis, we have generally seen a single-digit percentage rate of decline in the number of cash withdrawal transactions conducted on our U.S.-based and U.K.-based ATMs during the last 12-24 months. Additionally, with the January 6, 2017 completion of the acquisition of DCPayments, we now have substantial business operations in Canada and Australia. Our operations in both of these markets have experienced declining ATM transactions on a same-store basis over the last twelve months, with Australia experiencing a higher rate of transaction decline. The continued growth in electronic payment methods, such as mobile phone payments or contactless payments, could result in a reduced need for cash in the marketplace and ultimately, a decline in the usage of ATMs. New payment technology, such as Venmo, Zelle, and virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, or other new payment method preferences by consumers could reduce the general population’s need or demand for cash and negatively impact our transaction volumes in the future. The proliferation of payment options and changes in consumer preferences and usage behavior could reduce the need for cash and have a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows.

 

Interchange fees, which comprise a substantial portion of our transaction revenues, may be lowered in some cases at the discretion of the various EFT networks through which our transactions are routed, or through potential regulatory changes, thus reducing our future revenues and operating profits.

 

Interchange fees, which represented 33% of our total ATM operating revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017, are set by the various EFT networks and major interbank networks through which the transactions conducted on our ATMs are routed. These fees vary from one network to the next. As of December 31, 2017, approximately 4% of our total ATM operating revenues were subject to pricing changes by U.S. networks over which we currently have limited influence or where we have no ability to offset pricing changes through lower payments to merchants. During the year ended December 31, 2017,  19% of our consolidated ATM operating revenues were derived from interchange revenues in the U.K. In the U.K., the significant majority of the interchange revenues we earn are based on rates set by LINK, the major interbank network in that market. The remainder of reported interchange revenue reflects transaction-based revenues where we have contractually agreed to the rate with the associated network or financial institution. Accordingly, if some of the networks through which our ATM transactions are routed were to reduce the interchange rates paid to us or increase their transaction fees charged to us for routing transactions across their network, our future transaction revenues could decline.

 

In past years, certain networks have reduced the net interchange rates paid to ATM deployers for ATM transactions in the U.S. routed across their debit networks through a combination of reducing the transaction rates charged to financial institutions and higher per transaction fees charged by the networks to ATM operators. In addition to the impact of the net interchange rate decrease, we saw certain financial institutions migrate their volume away from some networks to take advantage of the lower pricing offered by other networks, resulting in lower net interchange rates per transaction to us.

 

Additionally, some consumer groups in the U.S. have expressed concern that consumers using an ATM may not be aware that, in addition to paying the surcharge fee that is disclosed to them at the ATM, their financial institution may also assess an additional fee with regard to that consumer’s transaction. These fees are sometimes referred to as “foreign bank

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fees” or “out of network fees.” While there are currently no pending legislative actions calling for limits on the amount of interchange fees that can be charged by the EFT networks to financial institutions for ATM transactions or the amount of fees that financial institutions can charge to their customers to offset their interchange expense, there can be no assurance that such legislative actions will not occur in the future. Any potential future network or legislative actions that affect the amount of interchange fees that can be assessed on a transaction may adversely affect our revenues.

 

Our U.K.-based revenues are significantly impacted by interchange rates, with the majority of our interchange revenues in that market being earned through the LINK network. In previous years, LINK has set interchange rates for its participants using a cost-based methodology that incorporates ATM service costs, generally from two years back (i.e., operating costs from 2015 were considered for determining the 2017 interchange rate) and, as a result, the interchange rate can vary year-to-year based on the output of the cost-based study. We have seen the LINK interchange rate move both up and down based on the results of the cost study. In addition to LINK transactions, certain card issuers in the U.K. have issued cards that are not affiliated with the LINK network, and instead carry the Visa or MasterCard network brands. Transactions conducted on our ATMs from these cards, which currently represent approximately 2% of our annual withdrawal transactions in the U.K., receive interchange fees that are set by Visa or MasterCard, respectively. The interchange rates set by Visa and MasterCard have historically been less than the rates that have been established by LINK. Accordingly, if any major financial institution in the U.K. decided to leave the LINK network in favor of Visa, MasterCard, or another network, and we elected to continue to accept the transactions of their cardholders, such a move could reduce the interchange revenues that we currently receive from the related withdrawal transactions conducted on our ATMs in that market. Recently, some of the major financial institutions that participate in LINK expressed concern about the LINK interchange rate and commenced efforts to significantly lower the interchange rate. During 2017, a group of members of LINK (the “Working Group”) worked to develop a new interchange rate setting mechanism. After several months of analysis and discussion, the Working Group was unable to reach a recommended amended approach that was satisfactory to its participants, and as a result of this outcome, along with governance recommendations by the Bank of England, in October 2017, it was decided that an independent board of LINK (“LINK Board”) would recommend interchange rates going forward. On November 1, 2017, the LINK Board announced that it had reached some tentative recommendations, subject to further comment by the LINK members. On January 31, 2018 the LINK Board issued an update and determined that interchange rates would decrease by 5% from 2017 levels, effective July 1, 2018. From January 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018, the interchange rates will be slightly reduced as a result of adjustments made to the interchange rates based on the former cost-based methodology. Additionally, the LINK Board announced the intention to further reduce the interchange rate by three further annual 5% reductions, subject to further considerations including impact to consumers and operating costs, such as interest and regulatory compliance. There are certain carve-out provisions which allow for higher interchange rates, in special circumstances, which are intended to support the continued existence of free-to-use ATMs. Relative to 2017, we expect that this change in approach will adversely impact our operating income by approximately $7 million to $8 million in 2018 and likely a greater amount in future years.

 

Based on the updated interchange rates being implemented by the LINK Board, including the stated intent to further reduce the interchange rate, we expect further reductions in our profits in this market beyond 2018. Additionally, should there be a significant change in the LINK scheme or its membership, our U.K. interchange revenues and profits could be adversely impacted.

 

Future changes in interchange rates, some of which we have minimal or no control over, could have a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows.

 

We operate in a changing and unpredictable regulatory environment, which may harm our business. If we are subject to new regulations or legislation regarding the operation of our ATMs, we could be required to make substantial expenditures to comply with that regulation or legislation, which may reduce our net income and our profit margins.

 

With its initial roots in the banking industry, the U.S. ATM industry is regulated by the rules and regulations of the federal Electronic Funds Transfer Act, which establishes the rights, liabilities, and responsibilities of participants in EFT systems. The vast majority of states have few, if any, licensing requirements. However, legislation related to the U.S. ATM industry is periodically proposed at the state and local level. In past years, certain members of the U.S. Congress called for a re-examination of fees that are charged for an ATM transaction, although no legislation was passed relative to these matters. As a part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”), the Consumer

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Financial Protection Bureau was created, and it is possible that this governmental agency could enact new or modify existing regulations that could have a direct or indirect impact on our business. For additional information related to this topic, see the risk factor entitled The passage of legislation banning or limiting the fees we receive for transactions conducted on our ATMs would severely impact our revenues and our operations below.

 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires that ATMs be accessible to and independently usable by individuals with disabilities, such as visually-impaired or wheel-chair bound persons. The U.S. Department of Justice issued accessibility regulations under the ADA that became effective in March 2012. While we maintain a compliance effort to ensure our ATMs meet these requirements, it is possible that in the future similar regulations may require us to make substantial expenditures and we may be forced to replace and or stop operating such ATMs until such time as compliance has been achieved.

 

Additionally, we have been subject to litigation in the past claiming discrimination against certain groups. For example, the National Federation of the Blind (the “NFB”) sought to require us to ensure that all of our ATMs are voice-guided. Effective May 2015, we entered into an amended and restated settlement agreement (the “New Agreement”) with the NFB and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to resolve outstanding issues arising out of an earlier settlement agreement that pre-dated the issuance of the 2012 ADA accessibility regulations. This New Agreement provides for a process utilizing a court-appointed special master to certify compliance with accessibility features, such as voice guidance and braille stickers, as set forth in either the 2012 ADA regulations or the New Agreement. The New Agreement also calls for monitoring our compliance in the deployment and maintenance of such features on our ATMs and imposes prescribed liquidated damages if we fail to meet any specific requirement. Should we fail to meet the terms of the New Agreement, we could incur significant liquidated damages.

 

In the U.K., the ATM industry has historically been largely self-regulating. Most ATMs in the U.K. are part of the LINK network and must operate under the network rules set forth by LINK, which operates under the oversight of the Bank of England and its regulatory capacity. In March 2013, the U.K. Treasury department issued a formal recommendation to further regulate the U.K. payments industry, including LINK, the nation’s primary ATM scheme. In October 2013, the U.K. government responded by establishing the new Payment Systems Regulator (“PSR”) to oversee any payment system operating in the U.K. and its participants. The new PSR became active in 2015. The PSR commissioned a review of LINK, which has resulted in several outcomes, including a separation of the processing component of LINK which required us to separately enter into new agreements for certain operational services. See the risk factor entitled Interchange fees, which comprise a substantial portion of our transaction revenues, may be lowered in some cases at the discretion of the various EFT networks through which our transactions are routed, or through potential regulatory changes, thus reducing our future revenues above.

 

We are also subject to various regulations in other jurisdictions that we operate in, including Germany, Poland, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, and Canada, and more recently, with the completion of the acquisitions in January 2017, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Due to the numerous regulations in the jurisdictions in which we operate, there is substantial risk to ensuring consistent compliance with the existing regulatory requirements in those jurisdictions. To the extent we are not successful in complying with the new or existing regulations, non-compliance may have an impact on our ability to continue operating in such jurisdictions or adversely impact our profits. In addition, new legislation proposed in any of the jurisdictions in which we operate, or adverse changes in the laws that we are subject to, may materially affect our business through the requirement of additional expenditures to comply with that legislation or other direct or indirect impacts on our business. If regulatory legislation is passed in any of the jurisdictions in which we operate, we could be required to incur substantial expenditures or suffer adverse changes in our business which would reduce our net income.

 

The broad introduction of free-to-use ATMs in Australia may adversely impact our revenues and profits.

 

In September 2017, Australia’s four largest banks, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (“CBA”), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (“ANZ”), Westpac Banking Corporation (“Westpac”), and National Australia Bank Limited (“NAB”), each independently announced decisions to remove all direct charges applied to domestic transactions completed at their respective ATM networks effectively creating a free-to-use network of ATM terminals that did not exist previously. This unexpected market shift appears to have been instigated by a decision and announcement by CBA to remove direct charges to all users of its ATMs, regardless of whether or not the users are customers of the bank. Shortly

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thereafter, ANZ, Westpac, and NAB followed with announcements and actions removing direct charges on their ATM networks for all users of their ATMs.

 

Australia has historically been a direct charge market where cardholders pay a fee (the “direct charge”) to ATM operators for each transaction, unless the ATM where the transaction is completed is part of the cardholder’s issuing bank ATM network. There is currently no broad interchange arrangement in Australia between card issuers and ATM operators to compensate ATM operators for the cost of providing a service to cardholders in the absence of a direct charge levied on the cardholder directly. In 2017, 81.4% of our revenues in Australia were sourced from direct charge fees paid by cardholders. As a result, this introduction of free-to-use ATMs in Australia may adversely impact our revenues and profits.

 

We are continuing to evaluate the impact that this unexpected market shift will have on our Australian ATM transaction volumes and associated revenues in the near-term, as well as potential strategic implications for a broader market adoption of free-to-use ATMs in Australia similar to those in other markets in which we operate. In September 2017, we determined that these developments were to be an indicator of impairment of our Australia & New Zealand reporting unit and related long-lived assets. As further discussed in Part I. Financial Information, Item I. Financial Statements, Note 1. Basis of Presentation and Summary of Significant Accounting – (l) Intangibles Other and Goodwill, and (m) Goodwill, we recorded an impairment of certain assets in our Australia & New Zealand reporting unit as of September 30, 2017.

 

Security breaches, including the occurrence of a cyber-incident or a deficiency in our cybersecurity, could harm our business by compromising merchant and cardholder information and disrupting our transaction processing services, thus damaging our relationships with our merchant customers, business partners, and generally exposing us to liability.

 

As part of our transaction processing services, we electronically process and transmit cardholder information. We and our vendors are subjected to cyber-attacks, including accidental or intentional computer or network issues (such as unauthorized parties gaining access to our information technology systems, phishing attacks, viruses, malware installation, server malfunction, software or hardware failures, impairment of data integrity, loss of data or other computer assets, adware, or other similar issues), none of which to date have resulted in any material disruption, interruption, or loss. Our vulnerability to attack and our vendors vulnerability to attack exists in relation to known threats, against which we work to implement and maintain what we consider to be adequate security controls, as well as threats which we can’t protect against as they are unknown. As a consequence, the security measures we deploy are not perfect or impenetrable, despite our investment in and maintenance of security controls, we may be unable to anticipate or prevent all unauthorized access attempts made on our systems.

 

A vulnerability in the cybersecurity of our systems or one or more of our vendors systems (which include among other things cloud based networks and services outside of the control of the Company) could impair or shut down one or more of our computing systems, transaction processing systems or our IT network and infrastructure, we may suffer harm from our customers, our business partners, the press, and the public at large. Furthermore, companies that process and transmit cardholder information have been specifically and increasingly targeted in recent years by sophisticated and persistent actors including hacktivists, organized criminal groups, and nation states in an effort to obtain information and utilize it for fraudulent transactions or other purposes. It is also possible that a cyber-attack or information security breach could occur and persist for an extended period of time without detection. We expect that any investigation of a cyber-attack would be inherently unpredictable and that it would take time before the completion of any investigation and before there is availability of full and reliable information. During such time we may not necessarily know the extent of the harm or how best to remediate it, and certain errors or actions could be repeated or compounded before they are discovered and remediated, all or any of which would further increase the costs and consequences of a cyber-attack.

The technical and procedural controls we and our partners use to provide security for storage, processing and transmission of confidential customer and other information may not be effective to protect against data security breaches or other cyber incidents. The risk of unauthorized circumvention of our security measures has been heightened by advances in computer capabilities and the increasing sophistication of hackers. Unauthorized access to our computer systems, or those of our third-party service providers, could result in the theft or publication of the information or the deletion or modification of sensitive records, and could cause interruptions in our operations. Any inability to prevent security

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breaches could damage our relationships with our merchant and financial institution customers, cause a decrease in transactions by individual cardholders, expose us to liability including claims from merchants, financial institutions, and cardholders, and subject us to network fines.

Further, we could be forced to expend significant resources in response to a security breach, including repairing system damage and increasing cybersecurity protection costs by deploying additional personnel, each of which could divert the attention of our management and key personnel away from our business operations. These claims also could result in protracted and costly litigation. If unsuccessful in defending that litigation, we might be forced to pay damages and/or change our business practices.

While many of our agreements with partners and third party vendors contain indemnification provisions and we maintain insurance intended to cover some of these risks, such measures may not be sufficient to cover all of our losses from any future breaches of our systems.

We have a history of making acquisitions and investments which expose us to additional risk associated with the integration of the information systems. We may not adequately identify weaknesses in an acquired entity’s information systems either before or after an acquisition, which could affect the value we are able to derive from the acquisition, expose us to unexpected liabilities or make our own systems more vulnerable to a cyber-attack. We may also not be able to integrate the systems of the businesses we acquire in a timely manner which could further increase these risks until such integration takes place.

As a global company, the cross border movement of data increases our exposure to cybersecurity threats. This cross border data movement must be managed in accordance with an ever changing compliance landscape and the development of cybersecurity guidance and best practice and while we have and will continue to invest in the protection of our systems and the maintenance of what we believe to be adequate security controls over individually identifiable customer, employee and vendor data provided to us, there can be no assurance that we will not suffer material losses relating to cyber-attacks or other security breaches involving our information systems in the future. In addition, we could be impacted by existing and proposed laws and regulations, as well as government policies and practices related to cybersecurity, privacy, and data protection across the various jurisdictions in which we operate. An actual security breach or cyber-incident could have a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows and costs to remediate any damages to our information technology systems suffered as a result of a cyber-attack could be significantly over and above any obligations arising from any penalties imposed by any regulatory or supervisory authority including in connection with General Data Protection Regulations (“GDPR”).  

 

Computer viruses or unauthorized software (malware) could harm our business by disrupting or disabling our transaction processing services, causing noncompliance with network rules, damaging our relationships with our merchant and financial institution customers, and damaging our reputation causing a decrease in transactions by individual cardholders.

 

We routinely face cyber and data security threats through computer viruses, malware, attachments to emails, persons inside our organization or persons with access to systems inside our organization and other significant disruptions of our IT networks and related systems (“System Threats”). One of these System Threats could infiltrate our systems and disrupt our delivery of services, cause delays or loss of data or public releases of confidential data or make our applications unavailable, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our revenues and our operations and cash flows. Although we utilize several preventative and detective security controls in our network, we have from time to time experienced System Threats to our data and systems, including but not limited to computer viruses, unauthorized parties gaining access to our information technology systems and similar incidents, none of which to date have resulted in any material disruption, interruption or loss. The preventative and detective security controls have been and may in the future be ineffective in preventing System Threats and material consequences arising from any such event occurring could damage our relationships with our merchant and financial institution customers, cause a decrease in transactions by individual cardholders, cause our reputation to be damaged, require us to make significant expenditures to repair or replace equipment, or cause us to be in non-compliance with applicable network rules and regulations.

 

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Regulatory, legislative or self-regulatory/standard developments regarding privacy and data security matters could adversely affect our ability to conduct our business.

 

We, along with our partners and customers in the financial services area, are subject to a number of laws and regulations. These laws, rules and regulations address a range of issues including data privacy and cyber security, and restrictions or technological requirements regarding the collection, use, storage, protection, retention or transfer of data.

 

In the U.S., the rules and regulations to which we (directly or contractually through our banking partners or our marketers) may be subject include those promulgated under the authority of the Federal Trade Commission, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Gramm Leach Bliley Act and state cybersecurity and breach notification laws, as well as regulator enforcement positions and expectations.

 

The European Union (“E.U.”) courts determined in late 2015 that the Safe Harbor mechanism which facilitated data sharing between the E.U. and the U.S. was not in fact compliant with the E.U. data protection regulations, requiring a new robust mechanism, the Privacy Shield. The E.U. authorities agreed to new General Data Protection Regulations (“GDPR”) in 2016. The GDPR provides heightened rights for individuals and increased sanctions for non-compliance with regulations. GDPR provides the supervisory authority with the power to impose administrative fines of the greater of (a) €10 million or 2% of global annual revenue from the prior year if it is determined that non-compliance was related to technical measures such as impact assessments, breach notifications and certifications; or (b) €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover in the case of non-compliance with key provisions of the GDPR including non-adherence to the core principles of processing personal data, infringement of the rights of data subjects and the transfer of personal data to third countries or international organizations that do not ensure an adequate level of data protection.

Additionally, the GDPR further introduces measures that will make data processing and sharing between our European-based businesses and our other businesses more difficult. As required by the GDPR, we have appointed a Data Protection Officer to oversee and supervise our compliance with European data protection regulations.

 

Such government regulation (together with applicable industry standards) may increase the costs of doing business. Federal, state, municipal and foreign governments and agencies have adopted and could in the future adopt, modify, apply or enforce laws, policies, regulations, and standards covering user privacy, data security, technologies such as cookies that are used to collect, store and/or process data, marketing online, the use of data to inform marketing, the taxation of products and services, unfair and deceptive practices, and the collection (including the collection of information), use, processing, transfer, storage and/or disclosure of data associated with unique individual internet users. New regulation or legislative actions regarding data privacy and security could have a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows.

 

The ATM industry is highly competitive and such competition may increase, which may adversely affect our profit margins.

 

The ATM business is and can be expected to remain highly competitive. Our principal direct competition comes from independent ATM companies and financial institutions in all of the countries in which we operate. Our competitors could prevent us from obtaining or maintaining desirable locations for our ATMs, cause us to reduce the revenue generated by transactions at our ATMs, or cause us to pay higher merchant fees, thereby reducing our profits. In addition to our current competitors, new and less traditional competitors may enter the market or we may face additional competition associated with alternative payment mechanisms and emerging payment technologies. Increased competition could result in transaction fee reductions, reduced gross margins, and loss of market share. As a result, the failure to effectively adapt our organization, products, and services to the market could significantly reduce our offerings to gain market acceptance, could significantly reduce our revenue, increase our operating costs, or otherwise adversely impact our operations and cash flows.

 

The passage of legislation banning or limiting the fees we receive for transactions conducted on our ATMs would severely impact our revenues and our operations.

 

Despite the nationwide acceptance of surcharge fees at ATMs in the U.S. since their introduction in 1996, consumer activists have from time to time attempted to impose local bans or limits on surcharge fees. Even in the few instances where these efforts have passed the local governing body (such as with an ordinance adopted by the city of Santa Monica,

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California), U.S. federal courts have overturned these local laws on federal preemption grounds. Although Section 1044 of the Dodd-Frank Act contains a provision that will limit the application of federal preemption with respect to state laws that do not discriminate against national banks, federal preemption will not be affected by local municipal laws, where such proposed bans or limits often arise. Additionally, some U.S. federal officials have expressed concern in previous years that surcharge fees charged by banks and non-bank ATM operators are unfair to consumers. We rely on transaction-based revenues in each of our markets and any regulatory fee limits that could be imposed on our transactions may have an adverse impact on our revenues and profits. If legislation were to be enacted in the future in any of our markets, and the amount we were able to charge consumers to use our ATMs was reduced, our revenues and related profitability would be negatively impacted. Furthermore, if such limits were set at levels that are below our current or future costs to operate our ATMs, it would have a material adverse impact on our ability to continue to operate under our current business model and adversely impact our revenues and cash flows.

 

Potential new currency designs may require modifications to our ATMs that could impact our cash flows. 

 

In the action styled: American Council of the Blind, et. al., v. Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury (Case #1:02-cv-00864) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (the “Court”) an order was entered that found that U.S. currencies (as currently designed) violated the Rehabilitation Act, a law that prohibits discrimination in government programs on the basis of disability, as the paper currencies issued by the U.S. are identical in size and color, regardless of denomination. As a consequence of this ruling, the U.S. Treasury stated in its semi-annual status report filed with the Court in September 2012, that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (“BEP”) was making progress towards implementing the Secretary’s decision to provide meaningful access to paper currency by: “(i) adding a raised tactile feature to each Federal Reserve note that the BEP may lawfully redesign, (ii) continuing the BEP’s program of adding large high-contrast numerals and different colors to each denomination that it may lawfully redesign, and (iii) implementing a supplemental currency reader distribution program for blind and other visually impaired U.S. citizens and legal residents.” Of these three steps only the first materially affects the ATM industry. The BEP continues to research the raised tactile feature and is engaged in testing samples in conjunction with the Banknote Equipment Manufactures program; however, previous comments from the U.S. Treasury suggest that raised tactile features on currency are not expected to be in circulation prior to 2020. Until a selection is made and disclosed by the BEP, the impact, if any, a raised tactile feature will have on the ATM industry, remains unknown. It is possible that such a change could require us to incur additional costs, which could be substantial, to modify our ATMs in order to store and dispense notes with raised or other tactile features.

 

Additionally, polymer notes were introduced by the Bank of England in 2016 and will be further circulated through 2020. The introduction of these new currency designs has required upgrades to software and physical ATM components on our ATMs in the U.K. Upgrades may result in incremental downtime and incremental capital investments for the affected ATMs. To date, we have not experienced any material adverse financial or operational impact as a result of the new requirements to handle these new notes but we have not yet completed the upgrade of our ATMs. The Reserve Bank of Australia (or “RBA”) has also begun issuing redesigned banknotes beginning with the $5 and $10 Australian dollar banknotes in September 2016 and 2017. The new $50 Australian dollar banknote is expected to enter circulation in October 2018. We expect that the RBA will continue issuing redesigned banknotes in additional denominations in subsequent years. The redesigned banknotes include a raised tactile feature to help the blind and visually impaired community distinguish between different denominations of banknotes and a top-to-bottom clear window in which the banknote is transparent. The new banknotes will require upgrades to the software and physical ATM components on our ATMs in Australia, and until all denominations of the banknotes have been released and are available for testing, we may not be able to determine the full upgrade requirements and related costs. Any required upgrades to our ATM machines could require us to incur additional cost, which could be substantial and have a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows.

 

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Risks associated with our business

 

We depend on ATM and financial services transaction fees for substantially all of our revenues, and our revenues and profits would be reduced by a decline in the usage of our ATMs or a decline in the number of ATMs that we operate, whether as a result of global economic conditions or otherwise. 

 

Transaction fees charged to cardholders and their financial institutions for transactions processed on our ATMs and multi-function financial services kiosks, including surcharge and interchange transaction fees, have historically accounted for most of our revenues. We expect that transaction fees, including fees we receive through our bank-branding and surcharge-free network offerings, will continue to account for the substantial majority of our revenues for the foreseeable future. Consequently, our future operating results will depend on many factors, including: (i) the market acceptance of our services in our target markets, (ii) the level of transaction fees we receive, (iii) our ability to install, acquire, operate, and retain ATMs, (iv) usage of our ATMs by cardholders, and (v) our ability to continue to expand our surcharge-free and other automated consumer financial services offerings. If alternative technologies to our services are successfully developed and implemented, we may experience a decline in the usage of our ATMs. Surcharge rates, which are largely market-driven and are negotiated between us and our merchant partners, could be reduced over time. Further, growth in surcharge-free ATM networks and widespread consumer bias toward these networks could adversely affect our revenues, even though we maintain our own surcharge-free offerings. Many of our ATMs are utilized by consumers that frequent the retail establishments in which our ATMs are located, including convenience stores, gas stations, malls, grocery stores, drug stores, airports, train stations, and other large retailers. If there is a significant slowdown in consumer spending, and the number of consumers that frequent the retail establishments in which we operate our ATMs declines significantly, the number of transactions conducted on those ATMs, and the corresponding transaction fees we earn, may also decline. Additionally, should banks increase the fees they charge to their customers when using an ATM outside of their network (i.e. out of network or foreign bank fees), this would effectively make transactions at our ATM more expensive to consumers and could adversely impact our transaction volumes and revenues. Alternatively, should banks or other ATM operators decrease or eliminate the fees they charge to users of their ATMs in any of our markets, such action would make transactions at our ATM comparatively more expensive to consumers and could adversely impact our transaction volumes and revenues. A decline in usage of our ATMs by cardholders, in the levels of fees received by us in connection with this usage, or in the number of ATMs that we operate, would have a negative impact on our revenues and cash flows and would limit our future growth potential.

 

We derive a substantial portion of our revenue from ATMs placed with a small number of merchants. The expiration, termination or renegotiation of any of these contracts with our top merchants, or if one or more of our top merchants were to cease doing business with us, or substantially reduce its dealings with us, could cause our revenues to decline significantly and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely impacted.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2017,  our contracts with our top five merchant customers (7-Eleven, Walgreens, CVS, Co-op Food (in the U.K.), and Speedway) accounted for approximately 30.9% of our total revenues inclusive of our 7-Eleven relationship in the U.S. which accounted for 12.5% of our total revenues. Excluding 7-Eleven, which we expect to account for less than 1% of our total revenues in 2018, the next top four customers together comprised approximately 18.4% of our total revenues in 2017. The 7-Eleven ATM placement agreement in the U.S. expired in July 2017, and, as of December 31, 2017, most of the associated ATM operations had been transitioned to the new service provider. We expect the transition to be complete during the first quarter of 2018. As a result, the termination of the 7-Eleven relationship in the U.S, has had and will continue to have, a significant negative impact on our income from operations and cash flows compared to previously reported periods.

 

Because a significant percentage of our future revenues and operating income depends upon the successful continuation of our relationship with our top merchant customers, the loss of any of our largest merchants, a decision by any one of them to reduce the number of our ATMs placed in their locations, or a decision to sell or close their locations could result in a decline in our revenues or otherwise adversely impact our business operations. To the extent there is consolidation or contraction within our primary retailer partners, and as a part of that consolidation or contraction, the retailers decide to reduce their store footprint, such an event could materially impact our revenues and profits. Furthermore, if their financial conditions were to deteriorate in the future, and as a result, one or more of these merchants was required to close a significant number of their store locations, our revenues would be significantly impacted. Additionally, these

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merchants may elect not to renew their contracts when they expire. As of December 31, 2017, the contracts we have with our four largest merchant customers, excluding 7-Eleven in the U.S., had a weighted average remaining life of approximately 3.8 years.

 

Even if our major contracts are extended or renewed, the renewal terms may be less favorable to us than the current contracts. If any of our largest merchants enters bankruptcy proceedings and rejects its contract with us, fails to renew its contract upon expiration, or if the renewal terms with any of them are less favorable to us than under our current contracts, it could result in a decline in our revenues and profits and have a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows.

 

Deterioration in global credit markets, as well as changes in legislative and regulatory requirements, could have a negative impact on financial institutions that we conduct business with.

 

We have a significant number of customer and vendor relationships with financial institutions in all of our key markets, including relationships in which those financial institutions pay us for the right to place their brands on our ATMs. Additionally, we rely on a small number of financial institution partners to provide us with the cash that we maintain in our Company-owned ATMs and some of our merchant-owned ATMs. Volatility in the global credit markets, such as that experienced in 2008 to 2009, may have a negative impact on those financial institutions and our relationships with them. In particular, if the liquidity positions of the financial institutions with which we conduct business deteriorate significantly, these institutions may be unable to perform under their existing agreements with us. If these defaults were to occur, we may not be successful in our efforts to identify new bank-branding partners and vault cash providers, and the underlying economics of any new arrangements may not be consistent with our current arrangements. Furthermore, if our existing bank-branding partners or vault cash providers are acquired by other institutions with assistance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), or placed into receivership by the FDIC, it is possible that our agreements may be rejected in part or in their entirety.

 

We rely on third-parties to provide us with the cash we require to operate many of our ATMs. If these third-parties were unable or unwilling to provide us with the necessary cash to operate our ATMs, we would need to locate alternative sources of cash to operate our ATMs or we would not be able to operate our business.

 

In North America, we rely primarily on Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Elan (a division of U.S. Bancorp), and Capital One to provide us with the vault cash that we use in approximately 44,000 of our ATMs where cash is not provided by the merchant. In Europe & Africa, we rely primarily on RBS, HSBC, Barclays, Absa Bank, and Capitec Bank to provide us with the vault cash that we use in approximately 21,000 of our ATMs. In Australia and New Zealand, we rely primarily on ANZ and NAB to provide us with the vault cash that we use in approximately 4,000 of our ATMs. For the quarter ended December 31, 2017, we had an average outstanding vault cash balance of approximately $2.3 billion held in our North America ATMs, approximately $1.4 billion in our ATMs in Europe and Africa and approximately  $250 million in our ATMs in Australia and New Zealand.

 

Our existing vault cash rental agreements expire at various times through March 2021. However, each provider has the right to demand the return of all or any portion of its cash at any time upon the occurrence of certain events, including certain bankruptcy events of us or our subsidiaries, or a breach of the terms of our vault cash provider agreements. Other key terms of our agreements include the requirement that the vault cash providers provide written notice of their intent not to renew. Such notice provisions typically require a minimum of 180 to 360 days’ notice prior to the actual termination date. If such notice is not received, then the contracts will typically automatically renew for an additional one-year period.

 

If our vault cash providers were to demand return of their cash or terminate their arrangements with us and remove their cash from our ATMs, or if they fail to provide us with cash as and when we need it for our operations, our ability to operate our ATMs would be jeopardized, and we would need to locate alternative sources of vault cash or potentially suffer significant downtime of our ATMs. In the event this was to happen, the terms and conditions of the new or renewed agreements could potentially be less favorable to us, which would negatively impact our results of operations. Furthermore, restrictions on access to cash to fill our ATMs could severely restrict our ability to keep our ATMs operating, and could subject us to performance penalties under our contracts with our customers. A significant reduction in access to the necessary cash to operate our ATMs could have a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows.

 

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We rely on EFT network providers, transaction processors, bank sponsors, armored courier providers, and maintenance providers to provide services to our ATMs. If some of these providers that service a significant number of our ATMs fail or otherwise cease, consolidate, or no longer agree to provide their services, we could suffer a temporary loss of transaction revenues, incur significant costs or suffer the permanent loss of any contract with a merchant or financial institution affected by such disruption in service.

 

We rely on EFT network providers and have agreements with various transaction processors, armored courier providers, and maintenance providers. These service providers enable us to provide card authorization, data capture, settlement, cash management and delivery, and maintenance services to our ATMs. Typically, these agreements are for periods of two or three years each. If we are unable to secure the renewal or replacement of any expiring vendor contracts, or a key vendor fails or otherwise ceases to provide the services for which we have contracted and disruption of service to our ATMs occurs, our relationship with those merchants and financial institutions affected by the disrupted ATM service could suffer.

 

While we have more than one provider for each of the critical services that we rely on third-parties to perform, certain of these providers currently provide services to or for a significant number of our ATMs. Although we believe we would be able to transition these services to alternative service providers, this could be a time-consuming and costly process. In the event one or more of such service providers was unable to deliver services to us, we could suffer a significant disruption in our business, which could result in a material adverse impact to our financial results. Furthermore, any disruptions in service in any of our markets, whether caused by us or by third-party providers, may result in a loss of revenues under certain of our contractual arrangements that contain minimum service-level requirements and could result in a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows.

 

If we, our transaction processors, our EFT networks or other service providers experience system failures, the products and services we provide could be delayed or interrupted, which would harm our business.

 

Our ability to provide reliable service largely depends on the efficient and uninterrupted operations of our EFT transaction processing platforms, third-party transaction processors, telecommunications network systems, and other service providers. Accordingly, any significant interruptions could severely harm our business and reputation and result in a loss of revenues and profits. Additionally, if any interruption is caused by us, especially in those situations in which we serve as the primary transaction processor, such interruption could result in the loss of the affected merchants and financial institutions, or damage our relationships with them. Our systems and operations and those of our transaction processors and our EFT network and other service providers could be exposed to damage or interruption from fire, natural disaster, unlawful acts, terrorist attacks, power loss, telecommunications failure, unauthorized entry, and computer viruses, among other things. We cannot be certain that any measures we and our service providers have taken to prevent system failures will be successful or that we will not experience service interruptions. Should a significant system failure occur, it could have a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows.

 

Our armored transport business exposes us to additional risks beyond those currently experienced by us in the ownership and operation of ATMs.

 

Our armored courier operation in the U.K. delivers cash to and collects residual cash from our ATMs in that market. As of December 31, 2017, we were providing armored courier services to approximately 14,900 of our ATMs in that market and we currently intend to further expand that operation to service additional ATMs. The armored transport business exposes us to significant risks, including the potential for cash-in-transit losses, employee theft, as well as claims for personal injury, wrongful death, worker’s compensation, punitive damages, and general liability. While we seek to prevent the occurrence of these risks and we maintain appropriate levels of insurance to adequately protect us from these risks, there can be no assurance that we will avoid significant future claims or adverse publicity related thereto. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that our insurance coverage will be adequate to cover potential liabilities or that insurance coverage will remain available at costs that are acceptable to us. The availability of quality and reliable insurance coverage is an important factor in our ability to successfully operate this aspect of our operations. A loss claim for which insurance coverage is denied or that is in excess of our insurance coverage could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and cash flows.

 

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Operational failures in our EFT transaction processing facilities could harm our business and our relationships with our merchant and financial institution customers.

 

An operational failure in our EFT transaction processing facilities could harm our business and damage our relationships with our merchant and financial institution customers. Damage, destruction, or third-party actions that interrupt our transaction processing services could also cause us to incur substantial additional expense to repair or replace damaged equipment and could damage our relationship with our customers. We have installed back-up systems and procedures to prevent or react to such disruptions. However, a prolonged interruption of our services or network that extends for more than several hours (i.e., where our backup systems are not able to recover) could result in data loss or a reduction in revenues as our ATMs would be unable to process transactions. In addition, a significant interruption of service could have a negative impact on our reputation and could cause our present and potential merchant and financial institution customers to choose alternative service providers, as well as subject us to fines or penalties related to contractual service agreements and ultimately cause a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows.

 

If we fail to adapt our products and services to changes in technology or in the marketplace, or if our ongoing efforts to upgrade our technology are not successful, we could lose customers or have difficulty attracting new customers, which would adversely impact our revenues and our operations.

 

The markets for our products and services are characterized by constant technological changes, frequent introductions of new products and services and evolving industry standards. Due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to security features, compatibility between systems and software and hardware components, consumer preferences, industry standards, and other factors, we regularly update the technology components, including software, on our ATMs. These technology upgrade efforts, in some cases, may result in downtime to our ATMs, and as a result, loss of transactions and revenues. Additionally, our ability to enhance our current products and services and to develop and introduce innovative products and services that address the increasingly sophisticated needs of our customers will significantly affect our future success. Our ability to take advantage of opportunities in the market may require us to invest considerable resources adapting our organization and capabilities to support development of products and systems that can support new services or be integrated with new technologies and incur other expenses in advance of our ability to generate revenue from these products and services. These developmental efforts may divert resources from other potential investments in our businesses, management time and attention from other matters, and these efforts may not lead to the development of new products or services on a timely basis. We may not be successful in developing, marketing or selling new products and services that meet these changing demands. In addition, we may experience difficulties that could delay or prevent the successful development, introduction or marketing of these products and services, or our new products and services and enhancements may not adequately meet the demands of the marketplace or achieve market acceptance.

 

Recently, Microsoft announced a plan to end technology support and patches for a series of Windows-based operating systems, including Windows 7, which is currently in use on a large number of our ATMs. Microsoft has stated that it will end support for Windows 7, starting in January 2020. As a large number of our ATMs currently operate on Windows 7, we expect to upgrade our fleet, starting primarily in 2019. While we are currently in the process of evaluating the cost to upgrade the ATMs that could be impacted, we expect that this cost could be significant to us and may elevate our capital expenditures, in particular during 2019. Additionally, we could experience downtime at some of our ATMs as we perform upgrades, which could adversely impact revenues and profits.

 

If we are unsuccessful in offering products or services that gain market acceptance, it could have an adverse impact on our ability to retain existing customers or attract new ones, which could have a material adverse effect on our revenues and our operations.

 

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Errors or omissions in the settlement of merchant funds could damage our relationships with our merchant customers and expose us to liability.

 

We are responsible for maintaining accurate bank account information for certain of our merchant customers and accurate settlements of funds into these accounts based on the underlying transaction activity. This process relies on precise and authorized maintenance of electronic records. Although we have controls in place to help ensure the safety and accuracy of our records, errors or unauthorized changes to these records could result in the erroneous or fraudulent movement of funds, thus damaging our relationships with our merchant customers and exposing us to liability and potentially resulting in a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows.

 

Changes in interest rates could increase our operating costs by increasing interest expense under our credit facilities and our vault cash rental costs.

 

Interest on amounts borrowed under our revolving credit facility is based on a floating interest rate, and our vault cash rental expense is based primarily on floating interest rates. As a result, our interest expense and cash management costs are sensitive to changes in interest rates. We pay a monthly fee on the average outstanding vault cash balances in our ATMs under floating rate formulas based on a spread above various LIBOR in the U.S., and the U.K. In Germany and Spain, the rate is based on the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (commonly referred to as “Euribor”). In Mexico, the rate is based on the Interbank Equilibrium Interest Rate (commonly referred to as the “TIIE”), in Canada, the rate is based on the Bank of Canada’s Bankers Acceptance Rate and the Canadian prime rate, and in Australia, the formula is based on the Bank Bill Swap Rates (“BBSY”). Although we currently hedge a portion of our vault cash interest rate risk related to our operations in the U.S. through December 31, 2022 by using interest rate swap contracts, we may not be able to enter into similar arrangements for similar amounts in the future. We have also entered into interest rate swap contracts in the U.K. through December 31, 2022 and in Australia through February 2019 to hedge a portion of our vault cash interest rate risk in those markets. Any significant future increases in interest rates could have a negative impact on our earnings and cash flow by increasing our operating costs and expenses. For additional information, see Part II. Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk - Interest Rate Risk.

 

We maintain a significant amount of vault cash within our Company-owned ATMs, which is subject to potential loss due to theft or other events, including natural disasters.

 

For the quarter ended December 31, 2017, our average outstanding vault cash balance was approximately $3.9 billion in our ATMs. Any loss of vault cash from our ATMs is generally our responsibility. We typically require that our service providers, who either transport the vault cash or otherwise have access to the ATM safe, maintain adequate insurance coverage in the event cash losses occur as a result of theft, misconduct, or negligence on the part of such providers. Cash losses at the ATM occur in a variety of ways, such as natural disaster (hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, etc.), fires, vandalism, and physical removal of the entire ATM, defeating the interior safe or by compromising the ATM’s technology components. Because our ATMs are often installed at retail sites, they face exposure to attempts of theft and vandalism. Thefts of vault cash may be the result of an individual acting alone or as a part of a crime group. We have experienced theft of vault cash from our ATMs across the geographic regions in which we operate and have at times removed ATMs from service to enhance security features. While we maintain insurance policies to cover a significant portion of any losses that may occur that are not covered by the insurance policies maintained by our service providers, such insurance coverage is subject to deductibles, exclusions, and limitations that may leave us bearing some or all of those losses. Significant vault cash losses could result in a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows.

 

Any increase in the frequency and/or amounts of theft and other losses could negatively impact our operating results by causing higher deductible payments and increased insurance premiums. Certain ATM types have recently been susceptible to coordinated ATM attacks, known as ‘jackpotting’, which generally involves a physical compromise of the ATM which causes the ATM to dispense cash without proper authorization and can be controlled remotely in certain types of these attacks. While we maintain a controls program across many fronts to prevent and quickly detect unauthorized ATM access and theft attempts, there can be no assurance that a significant jackpotting attack attempt could occur on our portfolio. Additionally, we have seen an increase in attacks and vault cash losses in our U.K. business, in particular. Should these losses continue at an elevated or increasing rate, it could adversely impact our results and impact our ability to obtain insurance for the vault cash used on our ATMs. Also, damage sustained to our merchant customers’ store locations in

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connection with any ATM-related thefts, if extensive and frequent enough in nature, could negatively impact our relationships with those merchants and impair our ability to deploy additional ATMs in those existing or new locations of those merchants. Certain merchants have requested, and could request in the future, that we remove ATMs from store locations that have suffered damage as a result of ATM-related thefts, thus negatively impacting our financial results. Finally, we have in the past, and may in the future, voluntarily remove vault cash from certain ATMs on a temporary or permanent basis to mitigate further losses arising from theft or vandalism. Depending on the magnitude and duration of any cash removal, our revenues and profits could be materially and adversely affected.

 

The election of our merchant customers to not participate in our surcharge-free network offerings could impact the effectiveness of our offerings, which would negatively impact our financial results.

 

Financial institutions that are members of the Allpoint network pay a fee in exchange for allowing their cardholders to use selected Company-owned and/or managed ATMs on a surcharge-free basis. The success of the Allpoint network is dependent upon the participation by our merchant customers in that network. In the event a significant number of our merchants elect not to participate in that network, the benefits and effectiveness of the network would be diminished, thus potentially causing some of the participating financial institutions to not renew their agreements with us, and thereby negatively impacting our financial results.

 

We may be unable to effectively integrate our future acquisitions, which could increase our cost of operations, reduce our profitability, or reduce our shareholder value.

 

We have been an active business acquirer and expect to continue to be active in the future. The acquisition and integration of businesses involves a number of risks. The core risks are in the areas of valuation (negotiating a fair price for the business based on inherently limited due diligence) and integration (managing the complex process of integrating the acquired company’s personnel, products, processes, technology, and other assets so as to realize the projected value of the acquired company and the synergies projected to be realized in connection with the acquisition).

 

The process of integrating operations is time consuming and could cause an interruption of, or loss of momentum in, the activities of one or more of our combined businesses and the possible loss of key personnel. The diversion of management’s attention from day-to-day operations, any delays or difficulties encountered in connection with acquisitions, and the integration of the companies’ operations could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition or prospects. The difficulties of integration may be increased by the necessity of coordinating geographically dispersed organizations, integrating personnel with disparate business backgrounds, and combining different corporate cultures. Further, if we cannot successfully integrate an acquired company’s internal control over financial reporting, the reliability of our consolidated financial statements may be impaired and we may not be able to meet our reporting obligations under applicable law. Any such impairment or failure could cause investor confidence and, in turn, the market price of our common shares, to be materially adversely affected.

 

In addition, even if we are able to integrate acquired businesses successfully, we may not realize the full benefits of the cost efficiency or synergies, or other benefits that we anticipated when selecting our acquisition candidates or that these benefits will be achieved within a reasonable period of time. We may be required to invest significant capital and resources after an acquisition to maintain or grow the business that we acquire. Further, acquired businesses may not achieve anticipated revenues, earnings, or cash flows. Any shortfall in anticipated revenues, earnings, or cash flows could require us to write down the carrying value of the intangible assets associated with any acquired company, which would adversely affect our reported earnings.

 

Since we were incorporated as Cardtronics Group, Inc. in 2001, we have acquired numerous ATM businesses, a surcharge-free ATM network, a technology product offering that complements our surcharge-free offering, an ATM installation company in the U.K., a Scotland-based provider and developer of marketing and advertising software and services for ATM owners, a U.K.-based provider of secure cash logistics and ATM maintenance, and a transaction processor in the U.S. We have made acquisitions to obtain the assets of deployed ATM networks and the related businesses and their infrastructure, as well as for strategic reasons to enhance the capability of our ATMs and expand our service offerings. We currently anticipate that our future acquisitions, if any, will likely reflect a mix of asset acquisitions and acquisitions of businesses, with each acquisition having its own set of unique characteristics. In the future, we may acquire

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businesses outside of our traditional areas, which could introduce new risks and uncertainties. To the extent that we elect to acquire an existing company or the operations, technology, and the personnel of the company, we may assume some or all of the liabilities associated with the acquired company and face new and added challenges integrating such acquisition into our operations.

 

On January 6, 2017, we completed the acquisition of DCPayments with significant operations in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. As further discussed in Part I. Financial Information, Item I. Financial Statements, Note 1. Basis of Presentation and Summary of Significant Accounting – (l) Intangibles Other and Goodwill, and (m) Goodwill, we recorded a material impairment related to the Australia operation as a result of an unexpected change in the market.

 

The failure to successfully implement enterprise resource planning (“ERP”) and other associated information systems changes could adversely impact our business and results of operations.

 

The Company is in the process of implementing new enterprise resource planning and related information systems in order to better manage its business.  This implementation requires the commitment of significant personnel and financial resources, and entails risks to business operations. If we do not successfully implement our new ERP and related information systems changes, or if there are delays or difficulties in implementing these systems, we may not realize anticipated productivity improvements or cost efficiencies, and may experience interruptions in service and other operational difficulties that hinder our ability to effectively manage our business.  If we do not complete the implementation of the ERP timely and successfully, we may incur additional costs associated with completing this project, delaying its benefits and adversely impacting our financial condition and results of operations.

 

We operate in many sovereign jurisdictions across the globe and expect to continue to grow our business in new regions. Operating in different countries involves special risks and our geographic expansion may not be successful, which would result in a reduction of our gross and net profits.

 

Upon completion of the DCPayments acquisition on January 6, 2017 and the Spark acquisition on January 31, 2017, we have operations in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. We expect to continue to expand in the countries in which we currently operate, and potentially into other countries as opportunities arise. We currently report our consolidated results in U.S. dollars and under generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. (“U.S. GAAP” or “GAAP”) and expect to do so for the foreseeable future. Operating in various distinct jurisdictions presents a number of risks, including:

 

·

exposure to currency fluctuations, including the risk that our future reported operating results could be negatively impacted by unfavorable movements in the functional currencies of our international operations relative to the U.S. dollar, which represents our consolidated reporting currency;

·

the imposition of exchange controls, which could impair our ability to freely move cash;

·

difficulties in complying with the different laws and regulations in each country and jurisdiction in which we operate, including unique labor and reporting laws and restrictions on the collection, management, aggregation, and use of information;

·

unexpected changes in laws, regulations, and policies of governments or other regulatory bodies, including changes that could potentially disallow surcharging or that could result in a reduction in the amount of interchange or other transaction-based fees that we receive;

·

unanticipated political and social instability that may be experienced;

·

rising crime rates in certain of the areas we operate in, including increased incidents of crimes on our ATMs and against store personnel where our ATMs are located;

·

difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations, including hiring and retaining skilled workers in those countries in which we operate;

·

decreased ATM usage related to decreased travel and tourism in the markets that we operate in;

·

exposure to corruption in jurisdictions where we operate; and

·

potential adverse tax consequences, including restrictions on the repatriation of foreign earnings.

 

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Any of these factors could have a material adverse impact on us and reduce the revenues and profitability derived from our international operations and thereby adversely impact our consolidated operations and cash flows.

 

The exit of the U.K. from the European Union could adversely affect us and our shareholders.

 

On March 29, 2017, the U.K. government officially triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union, which commenced the process for the U.K. to exit the European Union. As a significant portion of our operations are located in the U.K. and our parent company is incorporated in the U.K., we face potential risks associated with the exit process and effects and uncertainties around its implementation. The exit process is to be completed over a two-year time period during which the U.K. and the remaining E.U. member states will negotiate a withdrawal agreement. As it relates to our redomicile into the U.K., the exit process from the E.U. and implementation of the resulting changes could materially and adversely affect the tax, tax treaty, currency, operational, legal, and regulatory regime as well as the macro-economic environment in which we operate. In relation to our other European operations and businesses, we face similar risks. The effect of any of these risks, were they to materialize, is difficult to quantify, but could materially increase our operating and compliance costs and materially affect our tax position or business, results of operations, and financial position. Further, uncertainty around the form and timing of any withdrawal agreement could lead to adverse effects on the economy of the U.K., other parts of Europe, and the rest of the world, which could have an adverse economic impact on our operations.

 

We derive a significant portion of our revenues and profits from bank-branding relationships with financial institutions. A decline in these revenues as a result of changes in financial institution demand for this service may have a significant negative impact to our results.

 

Bank-branding drives a significant portion of our revenues, and if this product offering were to become less attractive to financial institutions whereby we lost a significant amount of existing contracts, it could have a material impact on our revenues and profits. In addition, consolidations within the banking industry may impact our bank-branding relationships as existing bank-branding customers are acquired by other financial institutions, some of which may not be existing bank-branding customers. Our bank-branding contracts could be adversely affected by such consolidations.

 

If we experience additional impairments of our goodwill or other intangible assets, we will be required to record a charge to earnings, which may be significant.

 

We have a large amount of goodwill and other intangible assets and are required to perform periodic assessments for any possible impairment for accounting purposes. We periodically evaluate the recoverability and the amortization period of our intangible assets under U.S. GAAP. Some of the factors that we consider to be important in assessing whether or not impairment exists include the performance of the related assets relative to the expected historical or projected future operating results, significant changes in the manner of our use of the assets or the strategy for our overall business, and significant negative industry or economic trends. These factors and assumptions, and any changes in them, could result in an impairment of our goodwill and other intangible assets.

 

During September 2017, we recognized impairments of our goodwill, other intangible assets and other long-lived assets of $140.0 million, $54.5 million, and $19.0 million, respectively, in our Australia & New Zealand reporting unit. We also recognized charges of $2.5 million related to inventory in our Australia and New Zealand reporting unit. See the risk factor entitled The introduction of free-to-use ATMs in Australia may adversely impact our revenues and profits above for additional information regarding the market changes that resulted in this impairment. As of December 31, 2017 we had goodwill and other intangible assets of $774.9 million and $209.9 million, respectively, of which $12.7 million of goodwill and $29.5 million of other intangible assets, respectively, were held by our Australia & New Zealand reporting unit.

 

In the event we determine our goodwill or amortizable intangible assets are further impaired in the future, we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings in our consolidated financial statements, which would negatively impact our results of operations and that impact could be material.

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We may accumulate excess or obsolete inventory or assets that cannot be used or re-deployed, which could result in unanticipated write-downs and adversely affect our financial results.

 

As a result of the 2017 EMV upgrade and the loss of our largest customer 7-Eleven, which occurred mostly during the last five months of 2017, we now have a substantial number of ATMs, approximately 5,000, as of December 31, 2017, that are not currently in service, yet have remaining net carrying value. To the extent we are not able to re-deploy the assets, we may in future periods incur write-downs of these and other assets which could materially, adversely affect our business, results of operations, and stockholders’ equity.

 

We have a significant amount of indebtedness, which may adversely affect our cash flow and our ability to operate our business, remain in compliance with debt covenants, and make payments on our indebtedness.

 

As of December 31, 2017, our outstanding indebtedness was $917.7 million, which represents 70.2% of our total book capitalization of $1.3 billion. Our indebtedness could have important consequences. For example, it could:

 

·

make it difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to our indebtedness, and any failure to comply with the obligations of any of our debt instruments, including financial and other restrictive covenants, could result in an event of default under the indentures governing our senior subordinated notes and the agreements governing our other indebtedness;

·

require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow in the future to pay principal and interest on our debt, which will reduce the funds available for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, and other general corporate purposes;

·

limit our flexibility in planning for and reacting to changes in our business and in the industry in which we operate;

·

make us more vulnerable to adverse changes in general economic, industry and competitive conditions, and adverse changes in government regulation; and

·

limit our ability to borrow additional amounts for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, debt service requirements, execution of our growth strategy, research and development costs, or other purposes.

 

Any of these factors could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and cash flows. We cannot assure shareholders that our business will generate sufficient cash flow from operations or that future borrowings, including those under our credit facilities, will be available in an amount sufficient to pay our indebtedness. If we do not have sufficient earnings or capital resources to service our debt, we may be required to refinance all or part of our existing debt, sell assets, borrow more money, delay investment and capital expenditures, or sell equity or debt securities, none of which we can guarantee we will be able to do on commercially reasonable terms or at all.

 

The terms of our credit agreement and the indentures governing our senior notes may restrict our current and future operations, particularly our ability to respond to changes in our business or to take certain actions.

 

Our credit agreement and the indentures governing our senior notes include a number of covenants that, among other items, restrict or limit our ability to:

 

·

sell or transfer property or assets;

·

pay dividends on or redeem or repurchase shares;

·

merge into or consolidate with any third-party;

·

create, incur, assume, or guarantee additional indebtedness;

·

create certain liens;

·

make investments;

·

engage in transactions with affiliates;

·

issue or sell preferred shares of restricted subsidiaries; and

·

enter into sale and leaseback transactions.

 

In addition, we are required by our credit agreement to adhere to certain covenants and maintain specified financial ratios. While we currently have the ability to borrow the full amount available under our credit agreement, as a result of

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these ratios, we may be limited in the manner in which we conduct our business in the future and may be unable to engage in favorable business activities or finance our future operations or capital needs. Accordingly, these restrictions may limit our ability to successfully operate our business and prevent us from fulfilling our debt obligations. A failure to comply with the covenants or financial ratios could result in an event of default. In the event of a default under our credit agreement, the lenders could exercise a number of remedies, some of which could result in an event of default under the indentures governing the senior notes. An acceleration of indebtedness under our credit agreement would also likely result in an event of default under the terms of any other financing arrangement we have outstanding at the time. If any or all of our debt were to be accelerated, we cannot assure shareholders that our assets would be sufficient to repay our indebtedness in full. If we are unable to repay any amounts outstanding under our bank credit facility when due, the lenders will have the right to proceed against the collateral securing our indebtedness. Such actions could have a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows. For additional information related to our credit agreement and indentures, see Part II. Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Financing Facilities.

 

The fundamental change and make-whole fundamental change provisions associated with our $250.0 million of 1.00% Convertible Senior Notes due December 2020 (“Convertible Notes”) may delay or prevent an otherwise beneficial takeover attempt of us.

 

The fundamental change purchase rights, which will allow holders of our Convertible Notes to require us to purchase all or a portion of their notes upon the occurrence of a fundamental change, and the provisions requiring an increase to the conversion rate for conversions in connection with certain other circumstances may delay or prevent a takeover of us or the removal of current management that might otherwise be beneficial to investors.

 

We may not have the ability to raise the funds necessary to pay the amount of cash due upon conversion of the Convertible Notes, if relevant, or upon the occurrence of a fundamental change as described in our convertible indentures, and our debt may contain limitations on our ability to pay cash upon conversion or required purchase of the Convertible Notes.

 

Upon the occurrence of a fundamental change, holders of our Convertible Notes may require us to purchase, for cash, all or a portion of their Convertible Notes at a fundamental change purchase consideration specified within the convertible note indentures. There can be no assurance that we will have sufficient financial resources, or will be able to arrange financing, to pay the fundamental change purchase consideration if holders submit their Convertible Notes for purchase by us upon the occurrence of a fundamental change or to pay the amount of cash (if any) due if holders surrender their Convertible Notes for conversion. In addition, the occurrence of a fundamental change may cause an event of default under agreements governing us or our subsidiaries’ indebtedness. Agreements governing any future debt may also restrict our ability to make any of the required cash payments even if we have sufficient funds to make them. Furthermore, our ability to purchase the Convertible Notes or to pay cash (if any) due upon the conversion of the Convertible Notes may be limited by law or regulatory authority. In addition, if we fail to purchase the Convertible Notes or to pay the amount of cash (if any) due upon conversion of the Convertible Notes, we will be in default under the indenture. A default under the indenture or the fundamental change itself could also lead to a default under agreements governing our other indebtedness, which in turn may result in the acceleration of other indebtedness we may then have. If the repayment of the other indebtedness were to be accelerated, we may not have sufficient funds to repay that indebtedness and to purchase the Convertible Notes or to pay the amount of cash (if any) due upon conversion.

 

Noncompliance with established EFT network rules and regulations could expose us to fines and penalties and could negatively impact our results of operations. Additionally, new EFT network rules and regulations could require us to expend significant amounts of capital to remain in compliance with such rules and regulations.

 

Our transactions are routed over various EFT networks to obtain authorization for cash disbursements and to provide account balances. These networks include Star, Pulse, NYCE, Cirrus (MasterCard), and Plus (Visa) in the U.S., and LINK in the U.K., among other networks. We utilize various other EFT networks in our other geographic locations. EFT networks set the interchange fees that they charge to the financial institutions, as well as the amounts paid to us. Additionally, EFT networks, including MasterCard and Visa, establish rules and regulations that ATM providers, including ourselves, must comply with in order for member cardholders to use those ATMs. Failure to comply with such rules and regulations could

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expose us to penalties and/or fines, which could negatively impact our financial results. Furthermore, compliance may in certain instances require capital expenditure. The payment networks rules and regulations are generally subject to change and they may modify their rules and regulations from time to time. Our inability to react to changes in the rules and regulations or the interruption or application thereof, may result in the substantial disruption of our business.

 

In October 2016, MasterCard commenced a liability shift for U.S. ATM transactions on EMV-issued cards used at non-EMV compliant ATMs in the U.S. Visa commenced a liability shift starting in October 2017 for all transaction types on all EMV-issued cards in the U.S. We have upgraded nearly all of our U.S. Company-owned ATMs to deploy additional software to enable additional functionality, enhance security features, and enable the EMV security standard. Due to the significant operational challenges of enabling EMV and other hardware and software enhancements across the majority of our U.S. ATMs, which comprises many types and models of ATMs, together with potential compatibility issues with various processing platforms, we experienced increased downtime at our U.S. ATMs during the first part of 2017. As a result of this downtime, we suffered lost revenues and incurred penalties with certain of our contracts during the first part of 2017. We have also incurred increased charges from networks associated with actual or potentially fraudulent transactions, as we were liable for fraudulent transactions on the MasterCard and Visa networks and other networks that have adopted the EMV security standard if our ATM was not EMV compliant at the time of the transaction, and any fraudulent transactions were processed. As of the date of this filing, all of our ATMs that we intend to upgrade and continue to operate were EMV compliant. Noncompliance with the EMV standard or other network rules could have a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows.

 

The majority of the electronic debit networks over which our transactions are conducted require sponsorship by a bank, and the loss of any of our sponsors and our inability to find a replacement may cause disruptions to our operations.

 

In each of the geographic segments in which we operate, bank sponsorship is required in order to process transactions over certain networks. In all of our markets, our ATMs are connected to financial transaction switching networks operated by organizations such as Visa and MasterCard. The rules governing these switching networks require any company sending transactions through these switches to be a bank or a technical service processor that is approved and monitored by a bank. As a result, the operation of our ATM network in all of our markets depends on our ability to secure these “sponsor” arrangements with financial institutions. In the U.S., our largest geographic segment by revenues, bank sponsorship is required on the significant majority of our transactions and we rely on our sponsor banks for access to the applicable networks. In the U.K., only international transactions require bank sponsorship. In Mexico, all ATM transactions require bank sponsorship, which is currently provided by our banking partners in the country. In Canada, Germany, and Spain, bank sponsorships are also required and are obtained through our relationships with third-party processors. If our current sponsor banks decide to no longer provide this service, or are no longer financially capable of providing this service as may be determined by certain networks, it may be difficult to find an adequate replacement at a cost similar to what we incur today, or potentially, we could incur a temporary service disruption for certain transactions in the event we lose or do not retain bank sponsorship, which may negatively impact our profitability and may prevent us from doing business in that market.

 

If we lose key personnel or are unable to attract additional qualified personnel as we grow, our business could be adversely affected.

 

We are dependent upon the ability and experience of a number of key personnel who have substantial experience with our operations, the rapidly changing automated consumer financial services industry, and the geographical segments in which we operate. It is possible that the loss of the services of one or a combination of several of our senior executives would have an adverse effect on our operations, if we are not able to find suitable replacements for such persons in a timely manner. Unexpected turnover in key leadership positions within the Company may adversely impact our ability to manage the Company efficiently and effectively, could be disruptive and distracting to management and may lead to additional departures of existing personnel, any of which could adversely impact our business. Any adverse change in our reputation, whether as a result of decreases in revenue or a decline in the market price of our common shares, could affect our ability to motivate and retain our existing employees and recruit new employees. Our success also depends on our ability to continue to attract, manage, motivate and retain other qualified management, as well as technical and operational personnel

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as we grow. We may not be able to continue to attract and retain such personnel in the future, which could adversely impact our business.

 

We are subject to laws and regulations across many jurisdictions, changes to which could increase our costs and individually or in the aggregate adversely affect our business.

 

We conduct business in many countries. As a result, we are subject to laws and regulations which affect our operations in a number of areas. Laws and regulations affect our business in many ways including, but not limited to, areas of labor, advertising, consumer protection, real estate, billing, e-commerce, promotions, quality of services, intellectual property ownership and infringement, tax, import and export requirements, anti-corruption, foreign exchange controls and cash repatriation restrictions, data privacy requirements, anti-competition, small-business protection, environmental, health, and safety.

 

Compliance with these laws, regulations and similar requirements may be onerous and expensive, and they may be inconsistent from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, further increasing the cost of compliance and doing business. Any such costs, which may rise in the future as a result of changes in these laws and regulations or in their interpretation could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We have implemented policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, but there can be no assurance that our employees, contractors, or agents will not violate such laws and regulations or our policies and procedures.

 

Changes in tax laws, regulations and interpretations or challenges to our tax positions could adversely effect our business.  

 

We are a large corporation with operations in the U.K., U.S. and numerous other jurisdictions around the world. As such, we are subject to tax laws and regulations of the U.S. federal, state and local governments as well as various other jurisdictions. We compute our income tax provision based on enacted tax rates in the jurisdictions in which we operate. As the tax rates vary among jurisdictions, a change in earnings attributable to the various jurisdictions in which we operate could result in an unfavorable change in our overall tax provision.

 

From time to time, changes in tax laws or regulations may be proposed or enacted that could adversely affect our overall tax liability. For example, the recent U.S. tax legislation enacted on December 22, 2017 represents a significant overhaul of the U.S. federal tax code. This tax legislation significantly reduced the U.S. statutory corporate tax rate and made other changes that could have a favorable impact on our overall U.S. federal tax liability in a given period. However, the tax legislation also included a number of provisions, including, but not limited to, the limitation or elimination of various deductions or credits (including for interest expense and for performance-based compensation under Section 162(m)), the imposition of taxes on certain cross-border payments or transfers, the changing of the timing of the recognition of certain income and deductions or their character, and the limitation of asset basis under certain circumstances, that could significant and adversely affect our U.S. federal income tax position. The legislation also made significant changes to the tax rules applicable to insurance companies and other entities with which we do business. We are continuing to evaluate the overall impact of this tax legislation on our operations and U.S. federal income tax position. There can be no assurance that changes in tax laws or regulations, both within the U.S. and the other jurisdictions in which we operate, will not materially and adversely affect our effective tax rate, tax payments, financial condition and results of operations. Similarly, changes in tax laws and regulations that impact our customers and counterparties or the economy generally may also impact our financial condition and results of operations.

 

In addition, tax laws and regulations are complex and subject to varying interpretations, and any significant failure to comply with applicable tax laws and regulations in all relevant jurisdictions could give rise to substantial penalties and liabilities. Any changes in enacted tax laws (such as the recent U.S. tax legislation), rules or regulatory or judicial interpretations; any adverse outcome in connection with tax audits in any jurisdiction; or any change in the pronouncements relating to accounting for income taxes could materially and adversely impact our effective tax rate, tax payments, financial condition and results of operations.

33


 

 

We operate in several jurisdictions and we could be adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other similar anti-corruption laws.

 

Our business operations in countries outside the U.S. are subject to anti-corruption laws and regulations, including restrictions imposed by the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). The FCPA and similar anti-corruption laws in other jurisdictions, such as the U.K. Bribery Act, generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from paying or promising to pay government officials, political parties, or political party officials for the purpose of obtaining, retaining, influencing, or directing business. We operate in parts of the world that have experienced governmental corruption to some degree and, in certain circumstances, compliance with anti-corruption laws may conflict with local customs and practices.

 

Our employees and agents may interact with government officials on our behalf, including interactions necessary to obtain licenses and other regulatory approvals necessary to operate our business, import or export equipment and resolve tax disputes. These interactions create a risk that actions may occur that could violate the FCPA or other similar laws.

 

Although we have implemented policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations as well as U.S. laws and regulations, including the FCPA, there can be no assurance that all of our employees, consultants, contractors and agents will abide by our policies. If we are found to be liable for violations of the FCPA or similar anti-corruption laws in international jurisdictions, either due to our own acts or out of inadvertence, or due to the acts or inadvertence of others, we could suffer from criminal or civil penalties which could have a material and adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows.

 

If we are unable to adequately protect our intellectual property, we may lose a valuable competitive advantage or be forced to incur costly litigation to protect our rights. Additionally, if we face claims of infringement we may be forced to incur costly litigation.

 

Our success depends, in part, on developing and protecting our intellectual property. We rely on copyright, patent, trademark and trade secret laws to protect our intellectual property. We also rely on other confidentiality and contractual agreements and arrangements with our employees, affiliates, business partners and customers to establish and protect our intellectual property and similar proprietary rights. While we expect these agreements and arrangements to be honored, we cannot assure shareholders that they will be and, despite our efforts, our trade secrets and proprietary know-how could become known to, or independently developed by, competitors. Agreements entered into for that purpose may not be enforceable or provide us with an adequate remedy. Effective patent, trademark, service mark, copyright and trade secret protection may not be available in every country in which our applications and services are made available. Any litigation relating to the defense of our intellectual property, whether successful or unsuccessful, could result in substantial costs to us and potentially cause a diversion of our resources.

 

In addition, we may face claims of infringement that could interfere with our ability to use technology or other intellectual property rights that are material to our business operations. We may expose ourselves to additional liability if we agree to indemnify our customers against third party infringement claims. If the owner of intellectual property establishes that we are, or a customer which we are obligated to indemnify is, infringing its intellectual property rights, we may be forced to change our products or services, and such changes may be expensive or impractical, or we may need to seek royalty or license agreements from the owner of such rights. In the event a claim of infringement against us is successful, we may be required to pay royalties to use technology or other intellectual property rights that we had been using, or we may be required to enter into a license agreement and pay license fees, or we may be required to stop using the technology or other intellectual property rights that we had been using. We may be unable to obtain necessary licenses from third parties at a reasonable cost or within a reasonable amount of time. Any litigation of this type, whether successful or unsuccessful, could result in substantial costs to us and potentially cause a diversion of our resources.

 

We are subject to business cycles, seasonality, and other outside factors that may negatively affect our business.

 

Our overall business is subject to seasonal variations. Transaction volumes at our ATMs located in regions affected by strong winter weather patterns typically experience declines in volume during those months as a result of decreases in the amount of consumer traffic through such locations. With the majority of our ATMs located in the northern hemisphere,

34


 

we expect to see slightly higher transactions in the warmer summer months from May through August, which are also aided by increased vacation and holiday travel. As a result of these seasonal variations, our quarterly operating results may fluctuate and could lead to volatility in the price of our shares. In addition, a recessionary economic environment could reduce the level of transactions taking place on our networks, which could have a material adverse impact on our operations and cash flows.

 

Cardtronics plc may be treated as a U.S. corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes and could be liable for substantial additional U.S. federal income taxes in the event our redomicile to the U.K. is successfully challenged by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”).

 

For U.S. federal income tax purposes, a corporation is generally considered a tax resident in the jurisdiction of its incorporation or organization. Because Cardtronics plc is incorporated under English law, it should be considered a U.K., and not a U.S., tax resident under these general rules. However, Section 7874 of the Code provides that a corporation organized outside the U.S. that acquires substantially all of the assets of a corporation organized in the U.S. (including through a merger) will be treated as a U.S. corporation (and, therefore, a U.S. tax resident) for U.S. federal income tax purposes if (i) the shareholders of the acquired U.S. corporation own at least 80% (of either the voting power or value) of the share of the acquiring foreign corporation after the acquisition and (ii) the acquiring foreign corporation’s “expanded affiliated group” does not have substantial business activities in the country in which the acquiring foreign corporation is organized relative to the expanded affiliated group’s worldwide activities (“substantial business activities” or the “SBA Test”). Pursuant to the Redomicile Transaction, Cardtronics plc indirectly acquired all of Cardtronics Delaware’s assets, and Cardtronics Delaware shareholders held 100% of the value of Cardtronics plc by virtue of their prior share ownership of Cardtronics Delaware immediately after the Redomicile Transaction. As a result, the Cardtronics plc expanded affiliated group (which includes Cardtronics Delaware and its subsidiaries) must have had substantial business activities in the U.K. for Cardtronics plc to avoid being treated as a U.S. corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes under Section 7874 of the Code. In order for the Cardtronics plc expanded affiliated group to have satisfied the SBA Test, at least 25% of the employees (by headcount and compensation), assets, and gross income of such group must have been based, located, and derived, respectively, in the U.K. as of the dates and for relevant periods under the Code sections.

 

Cardtronics plc believes it fully satisfied the SBA Test and performed rigorous analysis to support this conclusion. However, the application of Section 7874 of the Code is not entirely clear in all situations, and while we believe the SBA Test was fully satisfied, there is no assurance that the IRS or a court will agree. Furthermore, there have been legislative proposals to expand the scope of U.S. corporate tax residence and there could be changes to the Code (including Section 7874 of the Code) or the U.S. Treasury Regulations that could result in Cardtronics plc being treated as a U.S. corporation or otherwise have adverse consequences. Such statutory or regulatory provisions could have retroactive application.

 

If it were determined that Cardtronics plc should be taxed as a U.S. corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, Cardtronics plc could be liable for substantial additional U.S. federal income taxes. Additionally, the U.K. could continue to tax Cardtronics plc as a U.K. tax resident for U.K. tax purposes, and thus Cardtronics plc and its shareholders could be subject to taxation in both the U.S. and the U.K.

 

Our operating results have fluctuated historically and could continue to fluctuate in the future, which could affect our ability to maintain our current market position or expand.

 

Our operating results have fluctuated in the past and may continue to fluctuate in the future as a result of a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control, including the following:

 

·

changes in general economic conditions and specific market conditions in the ATM and financial services industries;

·

changes in payment trends and offerings in the markets in which we operate;

·

changes in consumers’ preferences for cash as a payment vehicle;

·

competition from other companies providing the same or similar services that we offer;

·

changes in the mix of our retail partners;

·

the timing and magnitude of operating expenses, capital expenditures, and expenses related to the expansion of sales, marketing, and operations, including as a result of acquisitions, if any;

35


 

·

changes implemented by networks and how they determine interchange rates;

·

the timing and magnitude of any impairment charges that may materialize over time relating to our goodwill, intangible assets, or long-lived assets;

·

changes in the general level of interest rates in the markets in which we operate;

·

changes in inflation or how key vendors and suppliers price their services to us;

·

changes in regulatory requirements associated with the ATM and financial services industries;

·

changes in the mix of our current services;

·

changes in the financial condition and credit risk of our customers;

·

any adverse results in litigation by us or by others against us;

·

our inability to make payments on our outstanding indebtedness as they become due;

·

our failure to successfully enter new markets or the failure of new markets to develop in the time and manner we anticipate;

·

acquisitions, strategic alliances, or joint ventures involving us, our customers, vendors, or our competitors;

·

terrorist acts, theft, vandalism, fires, floods, or other natural disasters;

·

additions or departures of key personnel;

·

changes in the financial condition and operational execution of our key vendors and service providers;

·

changes in tax rates or tax policies in the jurisdictions in which we operate; and

·

exposure to currency fluctuations, including the risk that our future reported operating results could be negatively impacted by unfavorable movements in the functional currencies of our international operations relative to the U.S. dollar, which represents our consolidated reporting currency.

 

Any of the foregoing factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Although we have experienced revenue growth in recent years, this growth rate is not necessarily indicative of future operating results. A relatively large portion of our expenses are fixed in the short-term, particularly with respect to personnel expenses, depreciation and amortization expenses, and interest expense. Therefore, our results of operations are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in revenues. Additionally, beginning in July 2017, the loss of our largest customer, 7-Eleven in the U.S., has had and will most likely continue to have, a significant negative impact on our income from operations and cash flows. As such, comparisons to prior periods should not be relied upon as indications of our future performance.

 

Risks associated with our common shares

 

We may issue additional common shares or instruments convertible into common shares, which may materially and adversely affect the market price of our common shares and the trading price of our Convertible Notes.

 

We may conduct future offerings of our common shares or other securities convertible into our common shares to fund acquisitions, finance operations or for general corporate purposes. In addition, we may elect to settle the conversion of our outstanding Convertible Notes in common shares, and we may also issue common shares under our equity awards programs. The market price of our common shares or the trading price of the Convertible Notes could decrease significantly if we conduct such future offerings, if any of our existing shareholders sells a substantial amount of our common shares or if the market perceives that such offerings or sales may occur. Moreover, any issuance of additional common shares will dilute the ownership interest of our existing common shareholders, and may adversely affect the ability of holders of our Convertible Notes to participate in any appreciation of our common shares.

 

The accounting method for convertible debt securities that may be settled in cash could have a material effect on our reported financial results.

 

Under U.S. GAAP, an entity must separately account for the debt component and the embedded conversion option of convertible debt instruments that may be settled entirely or partially in cash upon conversion, such as our Convertible Notes, in a manner that reflects the issuer’s economic interest cost. The effect of the accounting treatment for such instruments is that the value of such embedded conversion option is treated as an original issue discount for purposes of accounting for the debt component of the Convertible Notes, and that original issue discount is amortized into interest expense over the term of the Convertible Notes using an effective yield method. As a result, we are required to record non-

36


 

cash interest expense as a result of the amortization of the effective original issue discount to the Convertible Notes’ face amount over the term of the notes. Accordingly, we report lower net income in our financial results because of the recognition of both the current period’s amortization of the debt discount and the Convertible Notes’ coupon interest.

 

Under certain circumstances, convertible debt instruments that may be settled entirely or partially in cash are evaluated for their impact on earnings per share utilizing the treasury stock method, the effect of which is that the shares issuable upon conversion of the notes are not included in the calculation of diluted earnings per share except to the extent that the conversion value of the notes exceeds their principal amount. Under the treasury stock method, for diluted earnings per share purposes, the notes are accounted for as if the number of common shares that would be necessary to settle such excess, if we elected to settle such excess in shares, are issued. We cannot be certain that the accounting standards in the future will continue to permit the use of the treasury stock method. If we are unable to use the treasury stock method in accounting for the shares issuable upon conversion of the notes, then our diluted earnings per share could be adversely affected.

 

In addition, if the conditional conversion feature of the notes is triggered, even if holders do not elect to convert their notes, we could be required under applicable accounting rules to reclassify all or a portion of the outstanding principal of the notes as a current rather than long-term liability, which would result in a material reduction of our net working capital.

 

Our articles of association include mandatory offer provisions that may be viewed as less favorable to shareholders, including with respect to takeover matters.

 

Although we are not currently subject to the U.K. Takeover Code, certain provisions similar to the mandatory offer provisions and certain other aspects of the U.K. Takeover Code were specifically approved and included in our articles of association that were adopted at the special meeting of shareholders of Cardtronics Delaware held in June 2016 in connection with the Redomicile Transaction. As a result, except as permitted by our articles of association, (including acquisitions with the consent of our Board of Directors or with prior approval by the independent shareholders at a general meeting) a shareholder, together with persons acting in concert, would be at risk of certain Board of Directors sanctions if they acquired 30% or more of our issued shares without making a voluntary offer for all of the issued and outstanding shares (not already held by the acquirer) that is in cash (or accompanied by a full cash alternative) and otherwise in accordance with the provisions of the U.K. Takeover Code (as if the U.K. Takeover Code applied to us). The ability of shareholders to retain their shares upon completion of an offer for our entire issued share capital may depend on whether the Board of Directors subsequently agrees to propose a court-approved scheme of arrangement that would, if approved by our shareholders, compel minority shareholders to transfer or surrender their shares in favor of the offeror or, if the offeror acquires at least 90% of the shares. In that case, the offeror can require minority shareholders to accept the offer under the ‘squeeze-out’ provisions in our articles of association. The mandatory offer provisions in our articles of association could have the effect of discouraging the acquisition and holding of interests of 30% or more of our issued shares and encouraging those shareholders who may be acting in concert with respect to the acquisition of shares to seek to obtain the recommendation of our Board of Directors before effecting any additional purchases. In addition, these provisions may adversely affect the market price of our shares or inhibit fluctuations in the market price of our shares that could otherwise result from actual or rumored takeover attempts.

 

English law generally provides for increased shareholder approval requirements with respect to certain aspects of capital management.

 

English law provides that a board of directors may generally only allot shares with the prior authorization of shareholders and such authorization must specify the maximum nominal value of the shares that can be allotted and can be granted for a maximum period of five years, each as specified in the articles of association or the relevant shareholder resolution. English law also generally provides shareholders with preemptive rights when new shares are issued for cash. It is possible, however, for the articles of association, or shareholders in a general meeting, to exclude preemptive rights, if coupled with a general authorization to allot shares. Such an exclusion of preemptive rights may be for a maximum period of up to five years from the date of adoption of the articles of association, or from the date of the shareholder resolution, as applicable.

 

37


 

English law also generally prohibits a company from repurchasing its own shares by way of “off market purchases” without the prior approval of shareholders by ordinary resolution (i.e., majority of votes cast). Such authority can be granted for a maximum period of up to five years. English law prohibits us from conducting “on market purchases” as our shares will not be traded on a recognized investment exchange in the U.K.

 

Prior to the Redomicile Transaction, resolutions were adopted to authorize the allotment of a certain amount of shares, exclude certain preemptive rights and permit off market purchases of up to 15% of our shares in issue immediately after the effective time of the Redomicile Transaction, but these authorizations will expire in 2021 unless renewed by our shareholders prior to the expiration date.

 

We cannot assure shareholders that situations will not arise where such shareholder approval requirements for any of these actions would deprive our shareholders of substantial capital management benefits.

 

English law requires that we meet certain additional financial requirements before we declare dividends and repurchase shares.

 

We do not currently have the ability to declare dividends in any material amount. Under English law, with limited exceptions, we will only be able to declare dividends or repurchase shares out of “distributable reserves” on Cardtronics plc’s stand-alone balance sheet, without regard to its consolidated financial statements. While we have no current plans for future dividend payments or share repurchases, in order to create distributable reserves we may at a future annual meeting of shareholders offer a resolution to approve a proposed reduction of capital and, upon approval, undertake a customary court-approved capital reduction procedure in the U.K. that would enable the payment of dividends or share repurchases if and when determined by our Board of Directors.

 

 

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

None.

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

Our North America segment includes offices throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. The principal executive offices are located at 3250 Briarpark Drive, Suite 400, Houston, Texas 77042. We lease 62,249 square feet of office space for our principal executive offices. 

 

Specifically related to our North America segment, we lease 44,258 square feet of office and warehouse space in north Houston and other office space in Bethesda, Maryland; Minnetonka, Minnesota; Chandler, Arizona; Peoria, Illinois; and Bloomington, Illinois for other regional offices. Our North America segment also leases office space in Mexico City, Mexico, Mississauga, Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario, Calgary, Alberta, Montreal, Quebec, Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Vancouver, British Columbia. We also lease 44,067 square feet in the Dallas, Texas area, where we manage our EFT transaction processing platforms.

 

In Europe, we lease office spaces in and near London, U.K. for our ATM operations and various other locations throughout the U.K. to support our cash-in-transit operations and other business activities. We also have European offices in Trier, Germany, and Barcelona, Spain. For our i-design ATM advertising operations, we lease office space in Dundee, Scotland.

 

In Australia we have office and warehouse space in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, and Brisbane. In New Zealand, we lease an office in Auckland. We also lease an office in Cape Town, South Africa.

 

Our facilities are leased pursuant to operating leases for various terms and we believe they are adequate for our current use. We believe that our leases are at competitive or market rates and do not anticipate any difficulty in leasing suitable additional space upon expiration of our current lease terms. The lease of our primary corporate headquarters location in

38


 

Houston expires at the end of 2018. We are in the process of evaluating several potential locations for our corporate offices in the Houston area and do not anticipate difficulty in finding suitable space at a cost that is comparable to our current rate.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

The Company is subject to various legal proceedings and claims arising in the ordinary course of its business. The Company has provided reserves where necessary for all claims and the Company’s management does not expect the outcome in any legal proceedings, individually or collectively, to have a material adverse financial or operational impact on the Company. Additionally, the Company currently expenses all legal costs as they are incurred.

 

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

Not Applicable.

39


 

PART II

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

Our common shares trade on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “CATM.” As of February 15, 2018, the majority of our shareholders held their shares in “street name” by a nominee of the Depository Trust Company.

 

Quarterly share prices. The following table reflects the quarterly high and low sales prices of our common shares as reported on The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High

 

 

Low

2017

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth Quarter

$

25.45

 

$

16.26

Third Quarter

 

33.07

 

 

23.01

Second Quarter

 

45.62

 

 

32.24

First Quarter

 

55.89

 

 

44.08

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth Quarter

$

55.67

 

$

47.35

Third Quarter

 

47.48

 

 

40.01

Second Quarter

 

41.12

 

 

35.09

First Quarter

 

36.19

 

 

28.52

 

Dividend information. We have historically not paid, nor do we anticipate paying, dividends with respect to our common shares and are limited in doing so under English law. For additional information related to our restrictions on our ability to pay dividends, see Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Financing Facilities, Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 10. Long-Term Debt.

 

Share performance graph. The following graph compares the five-year total return to holders of Cardtronics plc’s common shares, the NASDAQ Composite index (the “Index”), and a customized peer group of 15 companies that includes: (i) ACI Worldwide, Inc. (ACIW), (ii) Acxiom Corporation (ACXM), (iii) CSG Systems International, Inc. (CSGS), (iv) Euronet Worldwide, Inc. (EEFT), (v) Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO), (vi) Everi Holdings Inc. (EVRI), (vii) Global Payments, Inc. (GPN), (viii) Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. (JKHY), (ix) SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. (SSNC), (x) WEX, Inc. (WEX), (xi) Total Systems Services, Inc. (TSS), (xii) VeriFone Systems, Inc. (PAY), (xiii) MoneyGram International, Inc. (MGI), (xiv) Worldpay Inc. (WP), and (xv) Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (HAWK) (collectively, the “Peer Group”). We selected the Peer Group companies because they are publicly traded companies that: (i) have the same Global Industry Classification Standard classification, (ii) earn a similar amount of revenues, (iii) have similar market values, and (iv) provide services that are similar to the services we provide.

 

The performance graph was prepared based on the following assumptions: (i) $100 was invested in our common shares, in our Peer Group, and the Index on December 31, 2012, (ii) investments in the Peer Group are weighted based on the returns of each individual company within the group according to their market capitalization at the beginning of the period, and (iii) dividends were reinvested on the relevant payment dates. The share price performance included in this graph is historical and not necessarily indicative of future share price performance.

 

The following graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or “filed” with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Exchange Act, each as amended, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.

 

 

 

40


 

 

Picture 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/12

 

 

12/13

 

 

12/14

 

 

12/15

 

 

12/16

 

 

12/17

Cardtronics plc

 

$

100.00

 

$

183.02

 

$

162.51

 

$

141.74

 

$

229.87

 

$

78.01

NASDAQ Composite

 

$

100.00

 

$

141.63

 

$

162.09

 

$

173.33

 

$

187.19

 

$

242.29

Peer Group

 

$

100.00

 

$

150.69

 

$

159.62

 

$

197.77

 

$

208.49

 

$

276.36

 

 

.

41


 

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

The following table reflects selected financial data derived from our consolidated financial statements. As a result of acquisitions of businesses during the years presented below, our financial results are not comparable in all periods. Additionally, these selected historical results are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31, 

 

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

 

2014

 

2013

 

 

(In thousands, excluding share and per share information and number of ATMs) 

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues and Income:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total revenues

 

$

1,507,599

 

$

1,265,364

 

$

1,200,301

 

$

1,054,821

 

$

876,486

(Loss) Income from operations (1)

 

 

(103,509)

 

 

146,379

 

 

139,917

 

 

104,639

 

 

82,601

Net (loss) income (2)

 

 

(145,351)

 

 

87,910

 

 

65,981

 

 

35,194

 

 

20,647

Net (loss) income attributable to controlling interests and available to common shareholders (2)

 

 

(145,350)

 

 

87,991

 

 

67,080

 

 

37,140

 

 

23,816

Per Share Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic net (loss) income per common share (2)

 

$

(3.19)

 

$

1.95

 

$

1.50

 

$

0.83

 

$

0.52

Diluted net (loss) income per common share (2)

 

$

(3.19)

 

$

1.92

 

$

1.48

 

$

0.82

 

$

0.52

Basic weighted average shares outstanding

 

 

45,619,679

 

 

45,206,119

 

 

44,796,701

 

 

44,338,408

 

 

44,371,313

Diluted weighted average shares outstanding

 

 

45,619,679

 

 

45,821,527

 

 

45,368,687

 

 

44,867,304

 

 

44,577,635

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Balance Sheets Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total cash and cash equivalents

 

$

51,370

 

$

73,534

 

$

26,297

 

$

31,875

 

$

86,939

Total assets

 

 

1,862,716

 

 

1,364,696

 

 

1,319,935

 

 

1,247,566

 

 

1,048,711

Total long-term debt and capital lease obligations, including current portion (3)

 

 

918,275

 

 

503,320

 

 

568,331

 

 

604,473

 

 

483,022

Total shareholders' equity

 

 

390,393

 

 

456,935

 

 

369,793

 

 

286,535

 

 

247,114

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from operating activities

 

$

217,892

 

$

270,275

 

$

256,553

 

$

188,553

 

$

183,557

Cash flows from investing activities

 

 

(631,217)

 

 

(139,203)

 

 

(209,562)

 

 

(336,881)

 

 

(266,740)

Cash flows from financing activities

 

 

391,424

 

 

(78,942)

 

 

(48,520)

 

 

99,248

 

 

154,988

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Data (Unaudited):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total number of ATMs (at period end):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ATM operations

 

 

96,539

 

 

78,561

 

 

77,169

 

 

78,217

 

 

66,984

Managed services and processing, net (4)

 

 

134,156

 

 

124,572

 

 

112,622

 

 

31,989

 

 

13,610

Total number of ATMs (at period end)

 

 

230,695

 

 

203,133

 

 

189,791

 

 

110,206

 

 

80,594

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total transactions (excluding Managed services and processing, net)

 

 

1,495,586

 

 

1,358,409

 

 

1,251,626

 

 

1,040,241

 

 

860,062

Total cash withdrawal transactions (excluding Managed services and processing)

 

 

956,919

 

 

848,394

 

 

759,408

 

 

617,419

 

 

521,282

 

(1)

The year ended December 31, 2017 includes $194.5 in goodwill and intangible asset impairment losses in addition to $33.3 million of impairment and disposal losses on other assets. The year ended December 31, 2013 includes $8.7 million in nonrecurring property tax expense related to a change in assessment methodology in the U.K. Additionally, the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013 include $18.9 million, $9.5 million, $27.1 million, $18.1 million, and $15.4 million, respectively, in acquisition and divestiture-related costs.

(2)

The year ended December 31, 2017 includes the goodwill, intangible asset and other asset impairment losses, net of tax. The year ended December 31, 2016 includes $13.7 million of expenses associated with the redomicile of our parent company to the U.K., which was completed on July1, 2016. The year ended December 31, 2013 includes $13.8 million in income tax expense related to the restructuring of our U.K. business.

(3)

Our long-term debt as of December 31, 2017 consists of outstanding borrowings under our revolving credit facility, our Convertible Notes, our 5.125% Senior Notes due 2022 (the “2022 Notes”), and our 5.50% Senior Notes due 2025 (the “2025 Notes”). The Convertible Notes are reported in the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheets at a carrying value of $252.0 million, as of December 31, 2017, which represents the principal balance of $287.5 million less the unamortized discount and capitalized debt issuance costs of $35.5 million. The 2022 Notes are reported in the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheets at a carrying value of $248.0 million, as of December 31, 2017, which represents the principal balance of $250.0 million less the capitalized debt issuance costs of $2.0 million. The 2025 Notes are reported in the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheets at a carrying value of $295.2 million as of December 31, 2017, which represents the principal balance of $300.0 million less capitalized debt issuance costs of $4.8 million. In accordance with the applicable accounting guidance related to the classification of capitalized debt issuance

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costs, these deferred financing costs related to our Convertible Notes, 2022 Notes, and 2025 Notes are presented as a direct deduction from the carrying amount of the related debt liabilities.

(4)

The notable increase in the Managed services and processing, net ATM machine count in 2015 is primarily attributable to the July 1, 2015 acquisition of CDS and the incremental number of transacting ATMs for which CDS provides processing services.

.

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS 

 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations contains forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current expectations, estimates, and projections about our business and operations. Our actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated and expressed in such forward-looking statements. Known material factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are those described in Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors of this 2017 Form 10-K. Additionally, you should read the following discussion together with the consolidated financial statements and the related notes included in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

 

Strategic Outlook

 

Over the past several years, we have expanded our operations and the capabilities and service offerings of our ATMs through strategic acquisitions and investments, continued to deploy ATMs in high-traffic locations under contracts with well-known retailers, and expanded our relationships with leading financial institutions through the growth of Allpoint, our surcharge-free ATM network and our bank-branding programs. We intend to further expand our ATM capabilities and service offerings to financial institutions, as we are seeing increasing interest from financial institutions for outsourcing of ATM-related services due to our cost efficiency advantages and higher service levels, as well as the role that our ATMs can play in maintaining financial institutions physical presence for their customers as they reduce their physical branches.

 

We have completed several acquisitions in the last six years, including, but not limited to: (i) eight U.S. and Canada based ATM operators, expanding our ATMs in both multi-unit regional retail chains and individual merchant ATM locations in North America, (ii) Cardpoint Limited (“Cardpoint”) in August 2013, which further expanded our U.K. ATM operations and allowed us to enter into the German market, (iii) Sunwin in November 2014, which further expanded our cash-in-transit and maintenance servicing capabilities in the U.K. and allowed us to acquire and operate ATMs located at Co-op Food stores, (iv) DCPayments in January 2017, a leading ATM operator with operations in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the U.K., and Mexico, (v) Spark in January 2017, an independent ATM deployer operating in South Africa, and (vi) various other less significant ATM asset and contract acquisitions. In addition to these ATM acquisitions, we have also made strategic acquisitions including: (i) i-design in March 2013, a Scotland-based provider and developer of marketing and advertising software and services for ATM operators, and (ii) CDS in July 2015, a leading independent transaction processor for ATM deployers and payment card issuers in the U.S., providing solutions to ATM sales and service organizations and financial institutions.

 

While we will continue to explore potential acquisition opportunities in the future as a way to grow our business, we also expect to continue expanding our ATM footprint organically, and launching new products and services that will allow us to further leverage our existing ATM network. We see opportunities to expand our operations through the following efforts:

 

·

increasing the number of deployed ATMs with existing and new merchant relationships;

·

expanding our relationships with leading financial institutions;

·

working with non-traditional financial institutions and card issuers to further leverage our extensive ATM network;

·

increasing transaction levels at our existing locations;

·

developing and providing additional services at our existing ATMs;

·

pursuing additional managed services opportunities; and

·

pursuing international growth opportunities.

 

For additional information related to each of our strategic points above, see Part I. Item 1. Business - Our Strategy.

 

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Developing Trends and Recent Events

 

Reduction of physical branches by financial institutions in the U.S., the U.K., and other geographies. Due primarily to the expansion of services available through digital channels, such as online and mobile, and financial institution customers’ preferences towards these digital channels, many financial institutions have been de-emphasizing traditional physical branches. This trend toward shifting more customer transactions to online and ATMs has helped financial institutions lower their operating costs. As a result, many banks have been reducing the number of physical branches they operate. However, financial institution customers still consider convenient access to ATMs to be an important criteria for maintaining an account with a particular financial institution. The closing of physical branches generally results in a removal of the ATMs that were at the closed branch locations and may create a void in physical presence for that financial institution. This creates an opportunity for us to provide the financial institution’s customers with convenient access to ATMs and to work with the financial institutions to preserve branded or unbranded physical points of presence through our ATM network.

 

Increase in surcharge-free offerings in the U.S. Many U.S. national and regional financial institutions aggressively compete for market share, and part of their competitive strategy is to increase their number of customer touch points, including the establishment of an ATM network to provide convenient, surcharge-free access to cash for their cardholders. While owning and operating a large ATM network would be a key strategic asset for a financial institution, we believe it would be uneconomical for all but the largest financial institutions to own and operate an extensive ATM network. Bank-branding of ATMs and participation in surcharge-free networks allow financial institutions to rapidly increase surcharge-free ATM access for their customers at a lower cost than owning and operating ATM networks. These factors have led to an increase in bank-branding and participation in surcharge-free ATM networks, and we believe that there will be continued growth in such arrangements.

 

Managed services. While many financial institutions (and some retailers) own and operate significant networks of ATMs that serve as extensions of their branch networks and increase the level of service offered to their customers, large ATM networks are costly to own and operate and typically do not provide significant revenue for financial institutions or retailers. Owning and operating a network of ATMs is not a core competency for the majority of financial institutions or retailers; therefore, we believe there is an opportunity for a large non-bank ATM owner/operator, such as ourselves, with lower costs and an established operating history, to contract with financial institutions and retailers to manage their ATM networks. Such an arrangement could reduce a financial institution or retailer’s operating costs while extending their customer service. Additionally, we believe there are opportunities to provide selected ATM-related services on an outsourced basis, such as transaction processing services, to other independent owners and operators of ATMs.

 

Growth in other automated consumer financial services. The majority of all ATM transactions in our geographies are cash withdrawals, with the remainder representing other banking functions such as balance inquiries, transfers, and deposits. We believe that there are opportunities for a large non-bank ATM owner/operator, such as ourselves, to provide additional financial services to customers, such as bill payments, check cashing, remote deposit capture, money transfers, and stored-value debit card reload services. These additional automated consumer financial services could result in additional revenue streams for us and could ultimately result in increased profitability. However, they would require additional capital expenditures on our part to offer these services more broadly and would increase regulatory compliance activities.

 

Increase in usage of stored-value debit cards. In the U.S., we have seen a proliferation in the issuance and acceptance of stored-value debit cards as a means for consumers to access their cash and make routine retail purchases over the past ten years. Based on published studies, the value loaded on stored-value debit cards such as open loop network-branded money and financial services cards, payroll and benefit cards, and social security cards is expected to continue to increase in the next few years.

 

We believe that our network of ATMs, located in well-known retail establishments throughout the U.S., provides a convenient and cost-effective way for stored-value cardholders to access their cash and potentially conduct other financial services transactions. Furthermore, through our Allpoint network, we partner with financial institutions that manage stored-value debit card programs on behalf of corporate entities and governmental agencies, and we are able to provide the users of those cards convenient, surcharge-free access to their cash. We believe that the number of stored-value debit cards being

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issued and in circulation has increased significantly over the last several years and represents a growing portion of our total withdrawal transactions at our ATMs in the U.S.

 

Growth in other markets. In most regions of the world, ATMs are less common than in the U.S. and the U.K. We believe the ATM industry will grow faster in certain international markets, as the number of ATMs per capita in those markets increases and begins to approach the levels in the U.S. and the U.K. We believe there is further growth potential for non-branch ATMs in the other geographic markets in which we operate, including Germany, which we entered into during 2013 through the Cardpoint acquisition.

 

·

United Kingdom. The U.K. is the largest ATM market in Europe. According to LINK (which connects the ATM networks of all the U.K. ATM operators), approximately 71,000 ATMs were deployed in the U.K. as of December 2017, of which approximately 40,000 were operated by non-banks (inclusive of our 22,000 ATMs). Similar to the U.S., electronic payment alternatives have gained popularity in the U.K. in recent years. However, according to the Bank of England cash is still the primary payment method preferred by consumers, representing over 50% of spontaneous payments. Due to the maturing of the ATM market, we have seen both the number of ATM deployments and withdrawals slow in recent years, and there has been a shift from fewer pay-to-use ATMs to more free-to-use ATMs. During 2013 and 2014 we significantly expanded in the U.K. through the acquisition of Cardpoint, and Sunwin and via a new ATM placement agreement with Co-op Food. In January 2017, we further expanded our operations in the U.K. through our acquisition of DCPayments. We anticipate additional expansion of our operations in this market through new merchants and new locations with existing merchants as well as other growth strategies.

 

·

Germany. We entered the German market in August 2013 through our acquisition of Cardpoint. The German ATM market is highly fragmented and may be under-deployed, based on its population’s high use of cash relative to other markets in which we operate, such as the U.S. and the U.K. There are approximately 58,000 ATMs in Germany that are largely deployed in bank branch locations. This fragmented and potentially under-deployed market dynamic is attractive to us, and as a result, we believe there are a number of opportunities for growth in this market.

 

·

Canada. We entered the Canadian market in October 2011 through a small acquisition, and further expanded our presence in the country through another small acquisition in December 2012. In January 2017, we significantly expanded our operations in Canada through our acquisition of DCPayments. We expect to continue to grow our number of ATM locations in this market. We currently operate approximately 12,000 ATMs in this market and estimate that there are currently approximately 62,000 ATMs in total in the Canadian market. Our recent organic growth in this market has been primarily through a combination of new merchant and financial institution partners. As we continue to expand our footprint in Canada, we plan to seek additional partnerships with financial institutions to implement bank-branding and other financial services, similar to our bank-branding and surcharge-free strategy in the U.S.

 

·

Mexico. There are approximately 48,000 ATMs operating in Mexico, most of which were owned by national and regional financial institutions. Due to a series of governmental and network regulations that have been mostly detrimental to us, together with increased theft attempts on our ATMs in this market, we slowed our expansion in this market in recent years. However, we increased our operations in Mexico through the DCPayments acquisition in January 2017 and remain poised and able to selectively pursue opportunities with retailers and financial institutions in the region, and believe there are currently opportunities to grow this business profitability.

 

·

Ireland and Spain. In April 2016, we entered the Ireland market, and in October 2016, we launched our business in Spain, joining a top Spain ATM network and signing agreements to provide ATMs at multiple retail chains. On a combined basis these markets have approximately 55,000 ATMs, of which we currently operate a very small portion. We plan to continue to grow in these markets through additional merchant and financial institution relationships.

 

·

Australia and New Zealand. In January 2017, in connection with our acquisition of DCPayments, we obtained operations in Australia and New Zealand, and now are the largest independent ATM operator in Australia. We

45


 

currently operate approximately 10,000 ATMs in Australia and New Zealand and estimate the total market is comprised of approximately 36,000 ATMs. Recently, we have generally seen same-unit transaction declines in this market, which may, in the near term be amplified by recent actions taken by major banks in Australia. For further information regarding this action, see Australia market changes and asset impairment below. However, we believe there are opportunities for longer-term growth in Australia, which would likely include expansion of services to financial institutions in that market.

 

·

South Africa. In January 2017, in connection with our acquisition of Spark, we obtained operations in South Africa. Spark is a leading independent ATM deployer in South Africa and we expect to expand in this market with retailers and financial institutions. We operate approximately 3,000 ATMs in South Africa and estimate that this market has approximately 32,000 ATMs in total.

 

Increase in surcharge rates. As financial institutions increase the surcharge rates charged to non-customers for the use of their ATMs, it enables us to increase the surcharge rates charged on our ATMs in selected markets and with certain merchant customers as well. We also believe that higher surcharge rates in the market make our surcharge-free offerings more attractive to consumers and other financial institutions. Over the last few years, we have seen a slowing of surcharge rate increases and expect to see generally modest increases in surcharge rates in the near future.

 

Decrease in interchange rates. The interchange rates paid to independent ATM deployers, such as ourselves, are in some cases set by the various EFT networks and major interbank networks through which the transactions conducted on our ATMs are routed. In past years, certain networks have reduced the net interchange rates paid to ATM deployers for ATM transactions in the U.S. routed across their debit networks through a combination of reducing the transaction rates charged to financial institutions and higher per transaction fees charged by the networks to ATM operators. In addition to the impact of the net interchange rate decrease, we saw certain financial institutions migrate their volume away from some networks to take advantage of the lower pricing offered by other networks, resulting in lower net interchange rates per transaction to us. If financial institutions move to take further advantage of lower interchange rates, or if networks reduce the interchange rates they currently pay to ATM deployers or increase their network fees, our future revenues and gross profits could be negatively impacted. We have taken measures to mitigate our exposure to interchange rate reductions by networks, including, but not limited to: (i) where possible, routing transactions through a preferred network such as the Allpoint network, where we have influence over the per transaction rate, (ii) negotiating directly with our financial institution partners for contractual interchange rates on transactions involving their customers, (iii) developing contractual protection from such rate changes in our agreements with merchants and financial institution partners, and (iv) negotiating pricing directly with certain networks. As of December 31, 2017, approximately 4% of our total ATM operating revenues were subject to pricing changes by U.S. networks over which we currently have limited influence or where we have no ability to offset pricing changes through lower payments to merchants.

 

Interchange rates in the U.K. are primarily set by LINK, the U.K.’s major interbank network. LINK has historically set these rates annually using a cost-based methodology that incorporates ATM service costs from two years back (i.e., operating costs from 2015 are considered for determining the 2017 interchange rate). In addition to LINK transactions, certain card issuers in the U.K. have issued cards that are not affiliated with the LINK network, and instead carry the Visa or MasterCard network brands. Transactions conducted on our ATMs from these cards, which currently represent 2.1% of our annual withdrawal transactions in the U.K., receive interchange fees that are set by Visa or MasterCard, respectively. The interchange rates set by Visa and MasterCard have historically been less than the rates that have been established by LINK. During 2016 and throughout 2017, some of the major financial institutions that participate in LINK expressed concern about the LINK interchange rate and commenced efforts to significantly lower the interchange rate. During 2017, a group of members of LINK (the “Working Group”) worked to develop a new interchange rate setting mechanism. After several months of analysis and discussion, the Working Group was unable to reach a recommended amended approach that was satisfactory to its participants, and as a result of this outcome, along with governance recommendations by the Bank of England, in October 2017, it was decided that an independent board of LINK (“LINK Board”) would recommend interchange rates going forward. On November 1, 2017, the LINK Board announced that it had reached some tentative recommendations, subject to further comment by the LINK members. The LINK Board proposal sought to reduce interchange rates by approximately 5% per year, and in the aggregate, approximately 20% over a four year period, commencing on April 1, 2018. The intention of the LINK Board proposal was for the new interchange rates to apply from April 1, 2018 and to be finalized no later than January 31, 2018, once consultation with the LINK members has concluded.

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Accordingly, on January 31, 2018, the new LINK Board, formalized a new process for setting interchange rates. Starting in July 2018, the new LINK Board determined the withdrawal interchange rate will be reduced by 5% from the 2017 rate. From January 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018, the interchange rates will be slightly reduced from the 2017 rates. The new LINK Board has also announced intentions for further potential interchange rate increases (of up to 5% annually) but has stated that a comprehensive cost study and external factors such as interest rates and compliance costs may impact the timing and ultimate magnitude of any further annual rate decreases. We are currently assessing the impact of this recent development on our U.K. business and have taken certain actions and may continue to take additional measures to mitigate the impact of this price reduction and future potential reductions. Mitigating measures include or in the future may include removal of lower profitability sites, terms renegotiations with certain merchants, change certain ATMs to a direct-charge to the consumer model, and other strategies. On an unmitigated basis, we expect this change to adversely impact our U.K. profits by approximately $7 million to $8 million in 2018, compared to 2017, all of which will occur in the latter six months of the year. For additional information related to the developments regarding LINK, see LINK interchange in the U.K. under Developing Trends and Recent Events below and Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors.

 

Withdrawal transaction and revenue trends - U.S. Many financial institutions are shifting traditional teller-based transactions to online activities and ATMs to reduce their operating costs. Additionally, many financial institutions are reducing the number of branches they own and operate in order to lower their operating costs. As a result of these current trends, we believe there has been increasing demand for automated banking solutions, such as ATMs. Bank-branding of our ATMs and participation in our surcharge-free ATM network allow financial institutions to rapidly increase and maintain surcharge-free ATM access for their customers at a substantially lower cost than owning and operating an ATM network. We believe there is continued opportunity for a large non-bank ATM owner/operator, such as ourselves, with lower costs and an established operating history, to contract with financial institutions and retailers to manage their ATM networks. Such an arrangement could reduce a financial institution’s operating costs while extending its customer service. Furthermore, we believe there are opportunities to provide selected services on an outsourced basis, such as transaction processing services, to other independent owners and operators of ATMs. Over the last several years, we have seen growth in bank-branding, increased participation in Allpoint, our surcharge-free network, and managed services arrangements, and we believe that there will be continued growth in such arrangements.

 

Total U.S. same-store cash withdrawal transactions during the year ended December 31, 2017 decreased 0.3% from the same period of 2016, excluding 7-Eleven locations. The same-store results were impacted by a number of factors throughout the year, and the discrete impact of each factor is difficult to precisely estimate. We believe the growth rate was partially adversely impacted by certain high-traffic locations that were previously branded with a prominent bank brand no longer having a brand, in addition to increased downtime caused by software issues at certain ATMs during the first part of the year. These declines were partially offset by increased Allpoint transactions, as a result of expansion of the number of ATMs in Allpoint and growth in the number of financial institutions participating in Allpoint.

 

7-Eleven U.S. relationship. The 7-Eleven ATM placement agreement in the U.S. expired in July 2017, and most of the ATM operations in the U.S. have been transitioned to the new service provider as of December 31, 2017. We expect the transition to be complete during the first quarter of 2018. 7-Eleven in the U.S., was the largest merchant customer in our portfolio and comprised approximately 12.5% of our total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017.  We estimate that the incremental gross margin on these revenues was approximately 40% in 2017. The ATMs that remain at 7-Eleven no longer participate in our Allpoint network and no longer to carry the Citibank brand.  For additional information related to 7-Eleven, see Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors.

 

Withdrawal transaction and revenue trends - U.K. The majority of our ATMs in the U.K. are free-to-use ATMs, meaning the transaction is free to the consumer and we earn an interchange rate paid by the customer’s bank. We also operate surcharging pay-to-use ATMs. Although we earn less revenue per cash withdrawal transaction on a free-to-use machine, the significantly higher volume of transactions conducted on free-to-use ATMs have generally translated into higher overall revenues. Our same-store cash withdrawal transactions in the U.K. decreased approximately 4% in 2017, which we believe was in part adversely impacted by changes in consumer behavior, conducting more tap-and-pay transactions for small payments at retailers.

 

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Australia market changes and asset impairment. In late September 2017, Australia’s four largest banks, CBA, ANZ, Westpac, and NAB, each independently announced decisions to remove all direct charges to all users on domestic ATM transactions completed at their respective ATM networks effectively creating a free-to-use network of ATM terminals that did not exist previously. Collectively these four banks account for approximately one third of the total ATMs in Australia. CBA removed the direct charges in late September, with Westpac, ANZ, and NAB removing direct charges during the first part of October 2017. As a result of this change in the market in Australia, we expect that our business in this market will likely be adversely impacted. Prior to this action, we were generally experiencing average same-unit transaction percentage declines in the high single-digits across our fleet. For the year ended December 31, 2017, the Australia & New Zealand reporting segment generated $133 million, in total revenues, of which $108 million, was surcharge revenue. Adjusted EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2017 for the Australia & New Zealand reporting segment was $27 million.

 

Australia has historically been a direct charge ATM market, where cardholders have paid a fee (or “direct charge”) to the operator of an ATM for each transaction, unless the ATM where the transaction was completed is part of the cardholder’s issuing bank ATM network. There currently is no broad interchange arrangement in Australia between card issuers and ATM operators to compensate the ATM operator for its service to a financial institution’s cardholder in absence of the direct charge being levied to the cardholders. During the year ended December 31, 2017, more than 80% of the Company’s revenues in Australia were sourced from direct charges paid by cardholders. The recent actions by the largest banks in Australia have resulted in a significant increase in the availability of free-to-use ATMs to Australian users and while we are working on developing strategies to react to this unexpected market shift, we believe our revenues and profits in Australia will decline in the near-term. While the initial impact we have experienced has been somewhat limited, the impact of this action could increase over time as customers’ behavior patterns change as a result of the introduction of a free-to-use network in Australia that did not exist previously.

 

During the three months ended September 30, 2017 these developments were identified to be an indicator of impairment of our Australia & New Zealand reporting unit and related long-lived assets. Upon further assessment and analysis of the potential impact of these developments, we determined that the fair value of the Australia & New Zealand reporting unit had fallen below its carrying value and determined that the long-lived assets held by Australia & New Zealand were not recoverable via their undiscounted cash flows, an indication of impairment. As a result, during September 2017, we recorded impairments of goodwill, other intangible assets, and other long-lived assets of $140.0 million, $54.5 million, and $19.0 million, respectively. We also recorded a charge of $2.5 million to adjust certain inventory to its estimated net realizable value. These non-cash charges have been reflected in the Goodwill and intangible asset impairment and Loss (gain) on disposal and impairment of assets line items in our accompanying Consolidated Statements of Operations. For additional information related to this unexpected market shift in Australia and the resulting impairment assessment, see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 1. Basis of Presentation and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies– (m) Goodwill.  

 

Poland operations. During the fourth quarter of 2017, we ceased operating in Poland and recognized costs to wind down the operations largely consisting of contract termination costs related to our merchant, bank sponsorship, lease and other agreements as well as employee severance costs and charges for asset disposals. During the year ended December 31, 2017 Poland contributed less than 1% of our consolidated ATM operating revenues.

 

Alternative payment options. We face indirect competition from alternative payment options, including card-based and mobile phone-based contactless payment technology in all of our markets. Australia and the U.K. have reported increasing rates of contactless payment use. Prior to our acquisition of DCPayments and since our ownership of the Australian component of the business, we have observed declines in transactions at Australian ATMs, as cash-based payments have declined as a percentage of total payments in recent years, with growth in contactless payments appearing to be the primary driver of the decline.

 

Europay, MasterCard, Visa (“EMV”) security standard and software upgrades in the U.S. The EMV security standard provides for the security and processing of information contained on microchips embedded in certain debit and credit cards, known as “chip cards.” In October 2016, MasterCard commenced a liability shift for U.S. ATM transactions on EMV-issued cards used at non-EMV compliant ATMs in the U.S. Similarly, in October 2017, Visa commenced a liability shift for all transaction types on all EMV-issued cards in the U.S. In response, we upgraded or replaced nearly all of our

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U.S. Company-owned ATMs to deploy additional software to enable additional functionality, enhance security features, and enable the EMV security standard. Due to the significant operational challenges of enabling EMV and other hardware and software enhancements across the majority of our U.S. ATMs, which comprises many types and models of ATMs, together with potential compatibility issues with various processing platforms, we experienced increased downtime at our U.S. ATMs during the first part of 2017. As a result of this downtime, we suffered lost revenues and incurred penalties with certain of our contracts during the first part of 2017. We have also incurred increased charges from networks associated with actual or potentially fraudulent transactions, as we are liable for fraudulent transactions on the MasterCard network and other networks that have adopted the EMV security standard if our ATM was not EMV compliant at the time of the transaction, and any fraudulent transactions were processed. As of December 31, 2017, nearly all of our U.S. Company-owned ATMs were enabled to meet the EMV security standard.

 

Capital investments. Our capital spending in 2017 included expenditures related to the EMV upgrade requirements, coupled with other factors, including: (i) our strategic initiatives to enhance the consumer experience at our ATMs and drive transaction growth, (ii) a significant number of recent long-term renewals of existing merchant contracts, (iii) certain software and hardware enhancements required to facilitate our strategic initiatives, enhance security, and to continue running supported versions, (iv) other compliance related matters including polymer note introductions, and (v) growth opportunities across our enterprise. We expect a decrease in our capital spending in 2018 from what we incurred in 2016 and 2017.

 

U.K. planned exit from the European Union (“Brexit”). On March 29, 2017, the U.K. government officially triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union, which commenced the process for the U.K. to exit the European Union. The ultimate impact of Brexit on our business is unknown; however, one noticeable impact was a substantial devaluation of the British pound relative to the U.S. dollar, leading up to and after the Brexit decision announcement in June 2016. As a result, our reported financial results (in U.S. dollars) were adversely impacted during the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the same period of 2016. Recently, however, the British pound has recovered value against the U.S. dollar. The U.K. is scheduled to exit the European Union on March 29, 2019.

 

Redomicile to the U.K. On July 1, 2016, the Cardtronics group of companies changed the location of incorporation of the parent company from Delaware to the U.K. Cardtronics plc, a public limited company organized under English law (“Cardtronics plc”), became the new publicly traded corporate parent of the Cardtronics group of companies following the completion of the merger between Cardtronics, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Cardtronics Delaware”) and one of its subsidiaries (the “Merger”). The Merger was completed pursuant to the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated April 27, 2016, the adoption of which was approved by Cardtronics Delaware’s shareholders on June 28, 2016 (collectively, the “Redomicile Transaction”).

 

Restructuring Expenses.  During 2017, we initiated a global corporate reorganization and cost reduction initiative (the “Restructuring Plan”), intended to improve our cost structure and operating efficiency. The Restructuring Plan included workforce reductions, facilities closures, contract terminations, and other cost reduction measures. During the year ended December 31, 2017, we incurred $10.4 million of pre-tax expenses related to our Restructuring Plan, including the costs incurred to close our Poland operations.

 

U.K. regulatory approval of the DCPayments acquisition. On September 22, 2017, we were notified by the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (the “CMA”) that the merger of the DCPayments U.K. business with our existing U.K. operations was approved. Prior to the CMA approval, the DCPayments U.K. business operated separately from our existing U.K. operations. Since the CMA approval, we have begun the process of integrating our existing U.K. operations with the DCPayments U.K. operations and expect to realize operational benefits during 2018 as a result of the combination.

 

New currency designs in the U.K. Polymer notes were introduced by the Bank of England in 2016 and will be further circulated through 2020. The introduction of these new currency designs has required upgrades to software and physical ATM components on our ATMs in the U.K., which caused some limited downtime for the affected ATMs during 2017. We are now substantially complete with this effort.

 

Next generation bank note upgrade in Australia. Next generation bank notes are in the process of being introduced by the Reserve Bank of Australia. The new $5 note was introduced on September 1, 2016, and the new $50 note, the most

49


 

widely disseminated note in Australia, is scheduled to take place on September 1, 2018, with the new $20 note to follow on a date to be determined. The introduction of these next generation bank notes requires upgrades to software and physical ATM components on our ATMs in Australia, which were evaluated in the impairment considerations discussed above and which we expect will likely cause some limited downtime for the affected ATMs during the latter part of 2018.

 

U.S. Tax Reform.  On December 22, 2017, House of Representatives 1 (“H.R. 1”), originally known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“U.S. Tax Reform”) was enacted and signed into legislation. Under U.S. GAAP, the effects of changes in tax rates and laws are recognized in the period in which the new legislation is enacted. As a result of this legislation, during the three months ended December 31, 2017, we provisionally recognized one-time net tax benefits totaling $11.6 million. This amount included an estimated one-time tax benefit of $19.4 million due to the re-measurement of our net deferred tax liabilities, primarily related to the change in the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%. Partially offsetting this non-cash book tax benefit, we recognized an estimated one-time tax expense of $7.8 million on our accumulated undistributed foreign earnings pertaining to foreign operations under our U.S. business, which we will elect to pay over an eight-year period. We continue to evaluate the impact of the U.S. Tax Reform on our business. There are many elements of the U.S. Tax Reform that will impact our business. In the near term, due primarily to limitations on the amount of interest expense a U.S. company can deduct, we expect the net impact of this reform to increase our consolidated reported effective tax rate.

 

Acquisitions. On January 6, 2017, we completed the acquisition of DCPayments, a leading operator of approximately 25,000 ATMs with operations in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the U.K., and Mexico. In connection with the closing of the acquisition, each DCPayments common share was acquired for Canadian Dollars $19.00 in cash per common share, and we also repaid the outstanding third-party indebtedness of DCPayments, the combined aggregate of which represented a total transaction value of approximately $658 million Canadian Dollars (approximately $495 million U.S. dollars).

 

On January 31, 2017, we completed the acquisition of Spark, an independent ATM deployer in South Africa, with a growing network of approximately 2,300 ATMs. The agreed purchase consideration included initial cash consideration, paid at closing, and potential additional contingent consideration. The additional purchase consideration is contingent upon Spark achieving certain agreed upon earnings targets in 2019 and 2020.

 

For additional information related to the acquisitions and divestiture above, see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 2. Acquisitions and Divestitures.

 

Cybersecurity trends. We electronically process and transmit cardholder information as part of our transaction processing services.  Companies that process and transmit cardholder information, such as ours, have been specifically and increasingly targeted in recent years by sophisticated criminal organizations in an effort to obtain information and utilize it for fraudulent transactions, and the risk of unauthorized circumvention has been heightened by advances in computer capabilities and increasing sophistication of hackers.  The Company takes a risk-based approach to cybersecurity and in recognition of the growing threat within our industry and the general market place, we proactively make strategic investments in our security infrastructure, technical and procedural controls, and regulatory compliance activities. We also apply the knowledge gained through industry and government organizations to continuously improve our technology, processes and services to detect, mitigate and protect our information. Cybersecurity and the effectiveness of the Company’s cybersecurity strategy are regular topics of discussion at Board meetings.  We expect to continue to focus attention and resources on our security protection protocols, including repairing any system damage and deploying additional personnel, as well as protecting against any potential reputational harm.  The cost to remediate any damages to our information technology systems suffered as a result of a cyber-attack could be significant.  For further discussion of the risks we face in connection with growing cybersecurity trends, see Item 1A. Risk Factors - Security breaches, including the occurrence of a cyber-incident or a deficiency in our cybersecurity, could harm our business by compromising merchant and cardholder information and disrupting our transaction processing services, thus damaging our relationships with our merchant customers, business partners, and generally exposing us to liability; Computer viruses or unauthorized software (malware) could harm our business by disrupting or disabling our transaction processing services, causing noncompliance with network rules, damaging our relationships with our merchant and financial institution customers, and damaging our reputation causing a decrease in transactions by individual cardholders; and Regulatory, legislative

50


 

or self-regulatory/standard developments regarding privacy and data security matters could adversely affect our ability to conduct our business.

 

Factors Impacting Comparability Between Periods

 

·

Foreign currency exchange rates. Our reported financial results are subject to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. We estimate that the year-over-year strengthening in the U.S. dollar relative to the currencies in the markets in which we operate caused our reported total revenues to be lower by approximately $15.7 million, or 1.0%, for the year ended December 31, 2017.

 

·

Acquisitions and divestitures. The results of operations for any acquired entities during a particular year have been included in our consolidated financial statements for that year since the respective dates of acquisition. Similarly, the results of operations for any divested operations have been excluded from our consolidated financial statements since the dates of divestiture.

 

·

7-Eleven ATM removal. As discussed above, 7-Eleven in the U.S. accounted for approximately 12.5% of our total revenues during the year ended December 31, 2017. The 7-Eleven ATM placement agreement in the U.S. expired in July 2017, and most of the ATM operations in the U.S. have been transitioned to the new service provider as of December 31, 2017. We expect the transition to be complete during the first quarter of 2018.

 

Components of Revenues, Cost of Revenues, and Expenses

 

Revenues

 

We derive our revenues primarily from providing ATM and automated consumer financial services, bank-branding, surcharge-free network offerings, and sales and services of ATM equipment. We currently classify revenues into two primary categories: (i) ATM operating revenues and (ii) ATM product sales and other revenues.

 

ATM operating revenues. We present revenues from ATM and automated consumer financial services, bank-branding arrangements, surcharge-free network offerings, and managed services in the ATM operating revenues line item in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Operations. These revenues include the fees we earn per transaction on our ATMs, fees we earn from bank-branding arrangements and our surcharge-free network offerings, fees we earn on managed services arrangements, and fees earned from providing certain ATM management services. Our revenues from ATM services have increased in recent years as a result of (i) the acquisitions we have completed, (ii) unit expansion with our customer base, (iii) acquisition of new merchant relationships, (iv) expansion of our bank-branding programs, (v) the growth of our Allpoint network, (vi) fee increases at certain locations, and (vii) introduction of new services, such as dynamic currency conversion.

 

ATM operating revenues primarily consist of the four following components: (i) surcharge revenue, (ii) interchange revenue, (iii) bank-branding and surcharge-free network revenue, and (iv) managed services and processing revenue.

 

·

Surcharge revenue. A surcharge fee represents a convenience fee paid by the cardholder for making a cash withdrawal from an ATM. Surcharge fees often vary by the arrangement type under which we place our ATMs and can vary widely based on the location of the ATM and the nature of the contracts negotiated with our merchants. Surcharge fees will also vary depending upon the competitive landscape at newly-deployed ATMs, the roll-out of additional bank-branding arrangements, and future negotiations with existing merchant partners. For the ATMs that we own or operate that participate in surcharge-free networks, we do not receive surcharge fees related to withdrawal transactions from cardholders who participate in these networks; rather we receive interchange and bank-branding or surcharge-free network revenues, which are further discussed below. For certain ATMs owned and primarily operated by the merchant, we do not receive any portion of the surcharge but rather the entire fee is earned by the merchant. In the U.K., ATM operators must either operate ATMs on a free-to-use (surcharge-free) or on a pay-to-use (surcharging) basis. On free-to-use ATMs in the U.K., we only earn interchange revenue on withdrawal and other transactions, such as balance inquiries. These fees are paid to us by the cardholder’s financial institution. On our pay-to-use ATMs, we only earn a surcharge fee on withdrawal

51


 

transactions and no interchange is paid to us by the cardholder’s financial institution, except for non-cash withdrawal transactions, such as balance inquiries, for which interchange is paid to us by the cardholder’s financial institution. In Germany, we collect a surcharge fee on withdrawal transactions but generally do not receive interchange revenue. In Mexico, surcharge fees are generally similar to those charged in the U.S., except for ATMs that dispense U.S. dollars, where we charge an additional foreign currency exchange convenience fee. In Canada, surcharge fees are comparable to those charged in the U.S. and we also earn an interchange fee that is paid to us by the cardholder’s financial institution. As a result of our 2017 acquisitions, we now earn surcharge fees in Australia and New Zealand.

 

·

Interchange revenue. An interchange fee is a fee paid by the cardholder’s financial institution for its customer’s use of an ATM owned by another operator and for the EFT network charges to transmit data between the ATM and the cardholder’s financial institution. We typically receive a majority of the interchange fee paid by the cardholder’s financial institution, with the remaining portion being retained by the EFT network. In the U.S., interchange fees are earned not only on cash withdrawal transactions but on any ATM transaction, including balance inquiries, transfers, and surcharge-free transactions. We also earn interchange revenues on all transactions occurring on our Allpoint network and on bank-branded transactions. See further discussion below regarding bank-branding and surcharge-free network revenues. In the U.K., interchange fees are earned on all ATM transactions other than pay-to-use cash withdrawals. Nearly all of our interchange revenues in the U.K. are generated over the LINK network. In Germany, our primary revenue source is surcharge fees paid by ATM users. Currently, we do not receive interchange revenue from transactions in Mexico due to rules promulgated by the Central Bank of Mexico, which became effective in May 2010. In Canada, interchange fees are determined by Interac, the interbank network in Canada, and have remained at a constant rate over the past few years. We also now earn interchange revenues on certain transactions in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa as a result of our 2017 acquisitions.

 

·

Bank-branding and surcharge-free network revenues. Under a bank-branding arrangement, ATMs that are owned and operated by us are branded with the logo of the branding financial institution. The financial institution’s customers have access to use those bank-branded ATMs without paying a surcharge fee, and in exchange for the value associated with displaying the brand and providing surcharge-free access to their cardholders, the financial institution typically pays us a monthly per ATM fee. Historically, this type of bank-branding arrangement has resulted in an increase in transaction levels at bank-branded ATMs, as existing customers continue to use the ATMs and cardholders of the branding financial institution are attracted by the service. Additionally, although we forego the surcharge fee on transactions by the branding financial institution’s customers, we continue to earn interchange fees on those transactions, together with the monthly bank-branding fee, and sometimes experience an increase in surcharge-bearing transactions from customers who are not cardholders of the branding financial institution but prefer to use the bank-branded ATM. In some instances, we have branded an ATM with more than one financial institution. Doing this has allowed us to serve more cardholders on a surcharge-free basis, and in doing so, drive more traffic to our retail sites. Based on these factors, we believe a bank-branding arrangement can substantially increase the profitability of an ATM versus operating the same machine without a consumer brand. Fees paid for bank-branding vary widely within our industry, as well as within our own operations, depending on the ATM location, financial institutions operating in the area, and other factors. Regardless, we typically set bank-branding fees at levels that more than offset our anticipated lost surcharge revenue.

 

Under the Allpoint network, financial institutions that participate in the network pay us either a fixed monthly fee per cardholder or a fixed fee per transaction in exchange for us providing their cardholders with surcharge-free ATM access to our large network of ATMs. These fees are meant to compensate us for the lack of surcharge revenues. Although we forego surcharge revenues on those transactions, we continue to earn interchange revenues at a per transaction rate that is usually set by Allpoint. Allpoint also works with financial institutions that manage stored-value debit card programs on behalf of corporate entities and governmental agencies, including general purpose, payroll, and EBT cards. Under these programs, the issuing financial institutions pay Allpoint a fee per issued stored-value debit card or per transaction in return for allowing the users of those cards surcharge-free access to the Allpoint’s participating ATM network.

 

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The interchange fees paid to us by both our bank-branding and Allpoint customers are earned on a per transaction basis and are included within the interchange revenue category.

 

·

Managed services revenue. Under a managed service arrangement, we offer ATM-related services depending on the needs of our customers, including monitoring, maintenance, cash management, cash delivery, customer service, transaction processing, and other services. Our customers, who include retailers and financial institutions, may also at times request that we own the ATMs. Under a managed services arrangement, all of the surcharge and interchange fees are earned by our customer, whereas we typically receive a fixed management fee per ATM and/or a fixed fee per transaction in return for providing agreed-upon service or suite of services. Managed services arrangements allow our customers to have greater flexibility to control the profitability per ATM by managing the surcharge fee. For financial institutions, we have recently expanded our services and now provide managed service solutions for both their on-branch and off-branch ATMs. Currently, we offer managed services in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

 

·

Other revenue. In addition to the above, we also earn ATM operating revenues from transaction processing for third party ATM operators, advertising revenues, professional services, and other fees. The Company typically recognizes these revenues as the services are provided and the revenues earned.

 

The following table presents the components of our total ATM operating revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

December 31, 

 

 

2017

    

2016

    

2015

Surcharge revenue

 

45.7

%

 

40.1

%

 

40.9

%

Interchange revenue

 

32.7

 

 

37.3

 

 

37.3

 

Bank-branding and surcharge-free network revenues

 

13.2

 

 

15.7

 

 

15.3

 

Other revenues, including managed services

 

8.4

 

 

6.9

 

 

6.5

 

Total ATM operating revenues

 

100.0

%

 

100.0

%

 

100.0

%

 

ATM product sales and other revenues. We present revenues from the sale of ATMs and ATM-related equipment and other non-transaction-based revenues in the ATM product sales and other revenues line item in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Operations. These revenues consist primarily of sales of ATMs and ATM-related equipment to merchants operating under merchant-owned arrangements, as well as sales under our value-added reseller (“VAR”) program with NCR. Under our VAR program, we primarily sell ATMs to associate VARs who in turn resell the ATMs to various financial institutions throughout the U.S. in territories authorized by the equipment manufacturer. We expect to continue to derive a portion of our revenues from sales of ATMs and ATM-related equipment in the future.

 

Cost of Revenues

 

Our cost of revenues primarily consist of the costs directly associated with the transactions completed on our network of ATMs. These costs include merchant commissions, vault cash rental expense, other cost of cash, repairs and maintenance expense, communications expense, transaction processing fees, and direct operations expense. To a lesser extent, cost of revenues also includes those costs associated with the sales of ATMs and ATM-related equipment and providing certain services to third parties. The following is a description of our primary cost of revenues categories:

 

·

Merchant commissions. We pay our merchants a fee for allowing us an exclusive right to place our ATM at their location. That fee amount depends on a variety of factors, including the type of arrangement under which the ATM is placed, the type of location, and the number of transactions on that ATM.

 

·

Vault cash rental expense. We pay monthly fees to our vault cash providers for renting the vault cash that is maintained in our ATMs. The fees we pay under our arrangements with our vault cash providers are based on market rates of interest; therefore, changes in the general level of interest rates affect our cost of cash. In order to limit our exposure to increases in interest rates, we have entered into a number of interest rate swap contracts of

53


 

varying notional amounts through 2022 for our U.S. and U.K. current and anticipated outstanding vault cash rental obligations.

 

·

Other costs of cash. Other costs of cash includes all costs associated with the provision of cash for our ATMs except for vault cash rental expense, including third-party armored courier services, cash insurance, reconciliation of ATM cash balances, associated wire fees, and other costs. This category excludes the cost of our wholly-owned armored courier operation in the U.K., as those costs are reported in the Other expenses line item described below.

 

·

Repairs and maintenance. Depending on the type of arrangement with the merchant, we may be responsible for first and/or second line maintenance for the ATM. In most of our markets, we generally use third-parties with national operations to provide these services. In the U.K., Australia, Canada, and South Africa, we maintain in-house technicians to service our ATMs, and those costs are reported in the Other expenses line item described below.

 

·

Communications. Under our Company-owned arrangements, we are usually responsible for the expenses associated with providing telecommunications capabilities to the ATMs, allowing them to connect with the applicable EFT networks.

 

·

Transaction processing. We own and operate EFT transaction processing platforms, through which the majority of our ATMs are driven and monitored. We also utilize third-party processors to gateway certain transactions to the EFT networks for authorization by the cardholders’ financial institutions and to settle transactions. As a result of our past acquisitions, we have inherited transaction processing contracts with certain third-party providers that have varying lengths of remaining contractual terms. Over the next couple of years, we plan to convert the majority of our ATMs currently operating under these contracts to our own EFT transaction processing platforms.

 

·

Other expenses. Other expenses primarily consist of direct operations expenses, which are costs associated with managing our ATM network, including expenses for monitoring the ATMs, program managers, technicians, cash ordering and forecasting personnel, cash-in-transit and maintenance engineers (principally in the U.K., Canada, and Australia), and customer service representatives.

 

·

Cost of ATM product sales. In connection with the sale of ATM and ATM-related equipment to merchants and distributors, we incur costs associated with purchasing the ATM equipment from manufacturers, as well as delivery and installation expenses. Additionally, this category includes costs related to providing maintenance services to third-party customers in the U.K.

 

The following table presents the components of our total cost of ATM operating revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

December 31, 

 

 

2017

    

2016

    

2015

Merchant commissions

 

50.3

%

 

47.3

%

 

47.7

%

Vault cash rental

 

8.1

 

 

9.3

 

 

9.6

 

Other costs of cash

 

10.0

 

 

10.3

 

 

9.9

 

Repairs and maintenance

 

8.7

 

 

9.7

 

 

9.6

 

Communications

 

4.0

 

 

4.1

 

 

4.3

 

Transaction processing

 

2.4

 

 

2.1

 

 

2.1

 

Stock-based compensation

 

0.1

 

 

0.1

 

 

0.2

 

Employee costs

 

8.4

 

 

8.7

 

 

9.6

 

Other expenses

 

8.0

 

 

8.4

 

 

7.0

 

Total cost of ATM operating revenues

 

100.0

%

 

100.0

%

 

100.0

%

 

 

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We define variable costs as those that vary based on transaction levels. The majority of Merchant commissions, Vault cash rental expense, and Other costs of cash fall under this category. The other categories of Cost of ATM operating revenues are mostly fixed in nature, meaning that any significant decrease in transaction volumes would lead to a decrease in the profitability of our operations, unless there was an offsetting increase in per transaction revenues or decrease in our fixed costs. Although the majority of our operating costs are variable in nature, an increase in transaction volumes may lead to an increase in the profitability of our operations due to the economies of scale obtained through increased leveraging of our fixed costs and incremental preferential pricing obtained from our vendors. We exclude depreciation, accretion, and amortization of intangible assets related to ATMs and ATM-related assets from our Cost of ATM operating revenues line item in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Operations.

 

The profitability of any particular location, and of our entire ATM operation, is attributable a combination of surcharge, interchange, bank-branding and surcharge-free network revenues, and managed services revenues, as well as the level of our related costs. Accordingly, material changes in our surcharge or interchange revenues may be offset and in some cases more than offset by bank-branding revenues, surcharge-free network fees, managed services revenues or other ancillary revenues, or by changes in our cost structure.

 

Other operating expenses

 

Our Other operating expenses include selling, general, and administrative expenses related to salaries, benefits, advertising and marketing, professional services, and overhead. Acquisition and divestiture-related expenses, redomicile-related expenses, restructuring expenses, depreciation and accretion of the ATMs, ATM-related assets, and other assets that we own, amortization of our acquired merchant and bank-branding contracts/relationships, and other amortizable intangible assets are also components of our Other operating expenses. We depreciate our ATMs and ATM-related equipment on a straight-line basis over the estimated life of such equipment and amortize the value of acquired intangible assets over the estimated lives of such assets.

 

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Results of Operations

 

The following table reflects line items from the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Operations as a percentage of total revenues for the periods indicated. Percentages may not add due to rounding.