Italy-based Matica designs, manufactures and sells card printing, embossing and mailing machines. They can be used to produce personalised credit and debit cards, smart cards, identification cards, pre-paid telephone cards, mobile phone SIM cards, membership cards, loyalty cards and electronic payment cards. Matica was formed in 1992 as a distributor of plastic card embossing and cutting machines. It didn’t start producing its own plastic card systems until 2000. It was subsequently acquired by Kaitech in 2002 and this coincided with increased investment in research and development. In June 2006, Switzerland-based Digicard was acquired for €1.5m. Matica would have needed to invest up to €7m to develop the equivalent of Digicard’s machines. It would also have take three years or more to develop the products, which are at the upper end of the market. The acquisition gives Matica a complete range of products. Datacard and NBS Technologies are the only competitors with a full product range. Matica’s stated goal is to become the main alternative to Datacard. High-end plastic card systems (costing €100,000-€500,000) are used by governments, SIM card producers and financial institutions. Mid-range systems (costing €40,000-€100,000) are used by manufacturers supplying centralised card issuers while the small, entry level systems (costing €1,000-€5,000) are used in bank branches, libraries and clubs. The mid-range products are the most important revenue generator. Matica was spun out of Kaitech, which is listed on the Italian Stock Exchange, in March 2007. A UK holding company was set up prior to Matica’s flotation in April, which raised £1.9m before expenses. The placing price was 100p.