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Blackhawk Network Acquires Grass Roots for $118 Million

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Prepaid payments network Blackhawk Network scored big yesterday. The California-based company has agreed to acquire Grass Roots, an employee- and customer-engagement solutions company, for $118 million.

This is the company’s eighth acquisition and is expected to help Blackhawk broaden the incentives-and-engagement business it launched in 2014 called Blackhawk Engagement Solutions (BES). BES took shape after Blackhawk acquired incentives-and-rewards companies Parago, InteliSpend, Cardlab, and Incentec. Since then, Blackhawk has bolstered BES by acquiring Achievers, Giftcards.com, and Extrameasures.

Bill Tauscher, executive chairman for Blackhawk, said the acquisition “complements the existing client portfolio” of Blackhawk. Tausher says the company “will also offer new products and capabilities to Grass Roots’ clients.”

While the company has commercial operations in 25+ countries, this acquisition will expand Blackhawk’s geographical reach. U.K.-based Grass Roots has offices in Europe, the Americas, and Asia and will operate as a subsidiary of Blackhawk. The finalization of the transaction is subject to approval by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office.

Founded in 2001, Blackhawk went public in 2013 (NASDAQ: HAWK) and is one of 49 companies listed on the KBW Nasdaq Financial Technology Index. In July 2016, the company launched an ecommerce website for gift cards in Canada, and at FinovateFall 2012, Blackhawk debuted GoWallet, a direct-to-consumer platform that lets users manage all of their gift cards from a central dashboard. In February 2016, the company appointed Talbott Roche as CEO.