PMT Services Inc. is tearing through its fiscal 1997, announcing it has acquired yet another independent sales organization-its sixth portfolio transaction during the period.

PMT is buying Bancard Systems Inc., an Irvine, Calif., sales organization. It will pay $45 million worth of its own stock-about 3.1 million shares-for BSI in a deal expected to close this month.

The 11,000-account portfolio has an annual charge volume of more than $1 billion, Bancard Systems said.

As one of the largest independent sales organizations, PMT is trying to build scale in merchant transaction services through acquisitions. It also wants to develop a stronger national sales force by leaving the organizations it acquires intact, industry observers said.

The deal "gives them a concentration," said Paul Martaus, president of Martaus and Associates, Clearwater, Fla. "They have not had a big California presence, and now they do."

In the first half of its fiscal year, which ends July 31, PMT has acquired 32,500 merchant accounts. The previous fiscal year, it added 34,500 accounts. Since its formation 13 years ago, the Nashville, Tenn., company has been growing by leaps and bounds, adding more than 100,000 merchants in seven years.

Today, PMT works as a middleman, selling batches of processing services to small merchants, known as "mom and pops."

It currently has a sales presence in the Southeast, Midwest, and parts of the Southwest. The deal with Bancard Systems expands PMT's base nationwide.

"There is no lapover in sales presence," said Richardson M. Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of PMT. Bancard has "a sales presence on the West Coast and East Coast. We've got a sales force in Florida, Dallas, Chicago, and Nashville. Now this covers both coasts."

"With this acquisition, we've met our entire year projected total," Mr. Roberts continued. "Everything from this point forward will be icing on the cake."

At the end of last month, PMT acquired 6,000 merchant accounts with an annual charge volume of $700 million. Although PMT would not release the name of the organization it acquired, industry sources said it was Fairway Marketing Group Inc., Tampa.

Fairway Marketing's president, Eugene Barker, confirmed the rumor.

As part of the most recent deal, Michael M. McCormick, president and chief operating officer of Bancard Systems, will be nominated to PMT's board of directors.

Mr. McCormick said, "PMT has an empowerment strategy," leaving the companies it acquires "whole to compete in the marketplace."

"There is still an opening for small, medium, and large (independent sales organizations) to build an advanced product to leverage new relationships with merchants," he added.

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