Blackhawk Network Acquiring Parago for $290M (Sept. 25, 2014)
Blackhawk Network (NASDAQ: HAWK and HAWKB) today announced it’s acquiring Dallas-based consumer incentives firm Parago Inc., continuing an acquisition streak that’s advancing the prepaid and payments network’s reach into new markets within the corporate and consumer incentive space. Blackhawk plans to close the all-cash, $290 million deal next month, with Parago operating as a Blackhawk subsidiary and its staff and headquarters remaining in place. Juli Spottiswood, Parago president and CEO, will lead Blackhawk’s overall incentive business, reporting to Talbott Roche, Blackhawk’s president, according to the announcement. Blackhawk’s incentive business also includes InteliSpend, the corporate incentives company acquired last year. Earlier this month, Blackhawk acquired CardLab, a maker of customizable prepaid and rewards cards, also based in Dallas.
With Parago, Blackhawk is absorbing one of the world’s largest consumer rebate companies, including a roster of 250 companies that develop and execute consumer promotions using rebates and prepaid products, Teri Llach, Blackhawk’s chief marketing officer, tells Paybefore. “Blackhawk already is a leader in prepaid in the retail space, and we want to be a leader in incentives globally,” she adds. “Parago is big on the consumer incentives side, and InteliSpend is big in corporate incentives, so these acquisitions complement each other and close the loop for our leadership in incentives.”
The opportunity to consolidate a fragmented incentives market should open up bigger opportunities for everyone involved, according to Llach. “By retaining talented senior management and merging them within Blackhawk, we’re creating synergies and leveraging our combined broad industry relationships,” she notes. And, Blackhawk hasn’t closed the door on further acquisitions or expansion. “I can’t say whether we’ll add any more companies, but we’re keeping our eye out for opportunities to add to our geographic coverage,” she says.
Blackhawk’s stock price rose on the news to $29.80 per share by late afternoon, up from $27.85 the previous day.
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