Blackhawk Network Acquired by Silver Lake, P2 Capital Partners in $3.5 Billion Deal

Blackhawk Network has agreed to be acquired by Silver Lake and P2 Capital Partners in a deal worth $3.5 billion. The news comes just one day after the company announced a partnership with China-based digital payment platform Alipay that will enable Blackhawk Network retailers to better serve Chinese visitors to the U.S.

Talbott Roche, Blackhawk CEO and President, said the deal will bring “immediate benefits and significant value to our stockholders.” According to the terms of the acquisition, Blackhawk shareholders will receive $45.25 per share in cash, a premium of more than 29% above the average closing share value over the past three months of $36.50.

“Silver Lake and P2 Capital Partners brings the long-term focus, financial resources and technology expertise that can enable us to accelerate growth initiatives globally and reach the company’s full potential,” Roche said.

The acquisition is expected to close in mid-2018. Managing Partner at Silver Lake Mike Bingle praised Blackhawk’s “outstanding network of partners and proprietary technology” and the company’s “proven ability to innovate in both the physical and digital segments.” P2 Capital Partners’ Alex Silver pointed to his firm’s multi-year investment in and support of Blackhawk, saying “we look forward to working with Silver Lake and Blackhawk management to drive the company’s next stage of growth.”

That growth will include a new relationship with Alipay. Blackhawk announced on Monday that it is expanding Alipay’s mobile payment acceptance and engagement solutions to participating U.S. retailers. The service, which is slated to begin this month, will enable Blackhawk’s network of retailers to use the company’s technology to serve visiting Chinese consumers in the U.S.

“Until now, Chinese tourists lacked convenient access to information on what payment methods were accepted at U.S. retailers they wished to visit,” Roche explained. “Alipay is ubiquitous in China, and represents an effective way for retailers to engage with Chinese travelers.” Souheil Badran, president of Alipay Americas, pointed out that 4 million Chinese tourists visit North America each year. “Many of those travelers are Alipay consumers already and are looking for the payment safety, convenience, and efficiency they are accustomed to at home,” Badran said.

Blackhawk’s solution uses in-store QR codes to access its platform, which then instantly issues the retailer’s branded, stored-value egift. As well as mobile and online payments and money transfers, consumers using Alipay will be able to use the Blackhawk app to get local recommendations, find promotions, book a hotel room, buy movie tickets, and more – all directly from the app.

Partnerships have been a significant part of Blackhawk’s strategy in 2017. In November, the company expanded its relationship with eBay to provide B2B gift card services. The same month, Blackhawk renewed its long-term agreement with Kroger to continue providing both in-store an digital gift card services.

The company made news on both the product and personnel fronts this fall, as well. Blackhawk Network’s Hawk Incentives division launched its wallet-enabled prepaid card for promotions and incentives in September. In October, the company added former healthcare technology executive Charles O. Garner as Chief Financial Officer.

Headquartered in Pleasanton, California and with operations in 26 countries, Blackhawk Network acquired fellow Finovate alum CashStar last year, in a deal worth $175 million. At FinovateFall 2012, Blackhawk demonstrated its GoWallet technology that enabled consumers to manage all of their prepaid cards in one location.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Blackhawk Network Acquired by Silver Lake, P2 Capital Partners in $3.5 Billion Deal.

Around the web

  • FIS partners with Australia’s ME Bank to serve as card platform provider.
  • Finastra launches Future of Banking Center of Excellence at Cyberport in Hong Kong.
  • Swedbank Norway and EVRY renew core banking contract.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

 

CashStar Launches Digital Gifting Program with Belk Department Store

If you’ve been waiting to send a digital gift card for southern clothing styles, you’re in luck today. Digital gifting and incentives platform CashStar has teamed up with Belk, a North Carolina-based department store.

The agreement is two-fold. First, CashStar will offer Belk shoppers a personalized digital gift card experience with its CashStar Consumer platform. This platform enables Belk to offer a branded gift card experience for the purchaser and the recipient. Additionally, end clients can tailor their gift by selecting a design and adding a personalized message.

CashStar will also leverage its CashStar Product eGifting to help shoppers digitally send physical gifts. Product eGifting enables Belk shoppers to gift a product from Belk’s ecommerce site without knowing specific details such as the recipient’s preferred size, color and shipping address. Once the recipient receives an email with the gift information, they can personalize the gift or opt to receive an eGift card instead.

Founded in 2007, CashStar serves major brands such as SEPHORA, Starbucks, The Home Depot, Uber, and Walmart. At FinovateFall 2011, the company’s co-founder David Stone debuted a geolocation-based iPhone app that enables consumers to walk into a store and redeem credit card loyalty points in real-time in the form of a mobile gift card. Before it was acquired by Blackhawk Network for $175 million in October, CashStar had raised a total of $44 million.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • NuCypher Raises $4.3 Million from Token Sale and VC Funds
  • Simility Adds PayPal as Strategic Investor in Latest $17.5 Million Fundraising

Around the web:

  • INETCO adds centralized switch application performance monitoring capabilities within the INETCO Insight software platform.
  • CFCU Community Credit Union Selects nCino to Boost Operational Efficiencies.
  • Blackhawk’s CashStar powers the launch of enhanced consumer gift card ecommerce program for Chico’s FAS
  • Tuition.io to power Student Loan Debt Reduction benefit to their Educational Assistance Program for MidWestOne Financial Group.
  • VentureBurn lists Entersekt as 1 of 8 12 South African startups to watch in 2018.
  • Vanguard turns to Symbiont smart contracts to simplify index data sharing process.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • HooYu to Provide Verification Services for U.K. Challenger Bank Countingup.
  • Following J.P. Morgan Chase Acquisition, WePay to Power Payments for Volusion.

Around the web

  • Temenos named a leader in global retail core banking by Gartner for eighth year in a row.
  • Bloomberg looks at the blockchain-based digital identity solutions from SecureKey.
  • CBInsight features Expensify among its 4 Mobile Apps Every Executive Should Download Now.
  • CII Industrial Innovation Awards 2017 recognizes Wipro as one of India’s most innovative companies.
  • Zinnov Zones 2017 features Persistent Systems in the “leadership zone” for enterprise software and consumer software for the fifth consecutive year.
  • Blackhawk’s CashStar wins a 2017 Emerging Payments Award.
  • Capgemini names Backbase Growth Partner of the Year.
  • Neustar moves its website from Neustar.biz to Home.Neustar.
  • Lendio opens new Lendio franchise in Nashville, Tennessee

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • TrueAccord Lands $22 Million to Humanize Debt Collection
  • Rising in the East: Asian Fintech Startups Shine in Showcase
  • BOKU to Raise $60 Million Ahead of London IPO

Around the web

  • UBS Card Center leverages AI technology from FICO to lower fraud write-offs.
  • D3 Banking adds new payment options, flexible card controls to its digital banking platform.
  • Thomson Reuters introduces new set of MiFID II reference data capabilities available on its data and analytics platform, DataScope.
  • Prosper Reports Third Quarter Growth; Closes $1.5 Billion of Securitizations in 2017
  • AngelList picks Quid as a top machine learning company.
  • Lighter Capital partners with Intuit to launch $15M fund for QuickBooks developers.
  • Blackhawk Network Expands Partnership with eBay to Provide B2B Gift Card Solutions

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Tink Receives $16.5 Million in Funding, Announces Expansion, New Clients.
  • BLUERUSH Raises $1.3 Million in New Funding.

Around the web:

  • Blackhawk Network appoints Charles O. Garner as Chief Financial Officer.
  • Tavant enabling digital mortgage experience for goodmortgage.com.
  • TechCrunch: TransferWise changes fees for GBP transfers, introduces complicated flat transaction fees.
  • Chain.com announces a new service called Sequence, a cloud-based ledger service for managing balances in financial and commerce apps.
  • Fidor partners with Eight to jointly design the customer experience for Fidor’s  financial services marketplace.
  • Temenos and Abu Dhabi Global Market announce fintech collaboration.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Temenos Teams Up with MuleSoft to Accelerate Open Banking.
  • TIBCO Acquires Cisco’s Data Virtualization Business.
  • Aviva Acquires Majority Stake in U.K. Online Wealth Management Specialist, Wealthify.

Around the web

  • PayNearMe announces the PayNearMe Channel Partner Program for U.S. Partners.
  • CoverHound reveals an expanded partner and insurance carrier network.
  • Neustar’s Trusted Device Identity solution integrates with NetFoundry’s Application Specific Networking. platform to extend ID-based solutions across multiple networks and clouds.
  • BlackRock in talks for stake in Capital Preferences.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On the web

  • Braintree Powers RFID Payments for Eventbrite Attendees.

Around the web

  • Accion features Aneesh Varma of Aire on Medium.
  • Forbes: Blend Wants To Bring The $2 Trillion Mortgage Market To The Modern Era.
  • Seylan Bank selects Finastra (formerly Misys) for trade finance and corporate banking.
  • HSBC launches online data tool in collaboration with Xero, Sage and Intuit
  • TSYS President, COO Pamela A. Joseph resigns.
  • Actiance Announces Compliant Capture and Archiving Support for Microsoft Teams.
  • Blackhawk Network’s Hawk Incentives Launches Wallet-Enabled Prepaid Card for Promotions and Incentives.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Blackhawk Network Acquires CashStar in $175 Million Deal

With Blackhawk Networks’ $175 million acquisition of fellow Finovate alum CashStar, we may soon learn just how good digital gifting is going to get.

Talbott Roche, CEO and president of Blackhawk Network, said the deal “strategically enhances Blackhawk’s ability to provide the right digital solutions to our partners to meet the changing needs of business customers and consumers.” She added that the acquisition made Blackhawk “a leading provider in the fast growing, first-party digital (gift card) market.” CEO and president of CashStar Ben Kaplan added that the combination of CashStar’s platform and Blackhawk’s “product breadth and global reach” would deliver “more powerful capabilities and new revenue opportunities for our clients and partners.” The acquisition will make CashStar a part of Blackhawk’s digital and incentives business, with Kaplan remaining on board to manage the business.

The acquisition is an all-cash deal which Blackhawk CFO Jerry Ulrich said would be “at least earnings neutral in fiscal 2017 and meaningfully accretive after synergies in 2018.” Ulrich also anticipates the acquisition will “generate positive cash flow in 2018” as well as boost topline growth.

CashStar’s platform gives retailers the ability to market, sell, and distribute both plastic and digital gift cards. The company offers a Commerce platform for merchants and an Exchange platform for gift card distributors and loyalty program managers. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Portland, Maine, CashStar demonstrated its Digital Gifting and Incentives platform at FinovateFall 2011. The company added real-time card activation, security improvements, and streamlined ordering in its last platform upgrade in July, and in May, CashStar’s Velocity B2B division helped global prestige retailer Sephora to introduce a B2B gift card program.

This spring, the company partnered with discount gift card marketplace Raise in a deal that will give the Chicago-based startup access to more than 250 merchants and 40 payment processors. CashStar had raised $44 million in funding previous to this week’s acquisition, most recently completing a $15 million Series D in 2015. The company’s customers include Starbucks, The Home Depot, and Uber.

Headquartered in Pleasanton, California, Blackhawk Network demonstrated its GoWallet solution at FinovateFall 2012. Last month, the company partnered with fellow Finovate alum PayNearMe, giving the cash transaction network access to Blackhawk’s retail partners. In May, the San Francisco Business Times recognized Blackhawk’s Roche with its Inspire Award as part of its annual “Most Influential Women in Business” initiative. Also honored by the Times was the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, Teri Llach. Blackhawk Network trades on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker “HAWK” and has a market capitalization of $2.5 billion.