Seeking to expand in the United States, International Verifact Inc. has acquired a controlling interest in a New England electronic payment systems company.

For stock valued at $1.25 million, Toronto-based International Verifact gained 85% ownership in National Transaction Network.

The Hudson, Mass., company specializes in software applications for multi-lane retailers. Its customers include Kroger Co. and Bi-Lo Food Stores.

"This supports our commitment to expand our operations in the United States by acquiring organizations and people with industry-specific knowledge from the United States," said International Verifact president and chief executive L. Barry Thomson, who takes over as president of National Transaction Network.

Nelson Doubleday, a member of the publishing family who co-owns the New York Mets, and Canada's BCE Investments Inc. swapped their controlling interest for 231,000 shares in International Verifact last week.

The deal expands International Verifact's presence in the United States, with a particular focus on the fast-growing multi-lane business.

"NTN still has a fairly good reputation for software for multi-lane retailers," said Paul Martaus, president of Martaus & Associates, Clearwater, Fla. "The multi-lane industry is hot at the moment. It is an area of substantial growth."

Although International Verifact is the largest terminal manufacturer in Canada, Mr. Martaus added, it is only a minor player in the United States.

International Verifact has U.S. operations in Boulder, Colo., to market its POS terminal systems.

Changes in senior management followed fast on the heels of the acquisition:

*William McKiever was named vice president and general manager of International Verifact's Boulder subsidiary. He was formerly general manager of services support for Verifone Inc. in Redwood City, Calif. He replaces Christopher Schellhorn, who recently became president of Visa Interactive.

*Kenneth Kubler, who has 15 years of managerial experience in the automation and electronic payments industries, has been named executive vice president and general manager of National Transaction Network.

Mr. Kubler and Mr. Thomson will share the duties of Paul Siegenthaler, who had been president and chief executive officer of National Transaction Network. When the deal was announced, Mr. Siegenthaler said there would be strong synergy between the two companies. Now he is out.

Mr. McKiever and Mr. Kubler both report to Mr. Thomson.

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