Blackhawk Sews Up InteliSpend Acquisition (Nov. 14, 2013)
It’s official; Blackhawk Network’s purchase of corporate incentive and promotions provider InteliSpend Prepaid Solutions has closed, with InteliSpend now operating as a business unit of Blackhawk. First announced in October, the all-cash acquisition was billed by Blackhawk as a way to capitalize on the “great synergies” between Blackhawk’s own retail gift card partners and InteliSpend’s restricted authorization network (RAN) and corporate gift card business. And with corporate incentives shifting away from merchandise and travel rewards in favor of prepaid cards, Blackhawk saw a chance to earn a sizable foothold in a growing market by acquiring the Paybefore Award-winning InteliSpend. According to Mercator Advisory Group, the U.S. prepaid incentive card industry is worth about $36 billion annually.
Under terms of the deal, InteliSpend will continue to operate out of its Fenton, Mo., headquarters, with James Menadier remaining as InteliSpend president, reporting directly to Talbott Roche, president of Pleasanton, Calif.-based Blackhawk. The exact dollar amount of the deal was not disclosed, but Blackhawk said it planned to dole out between $71 million and $100 million in cash, with at least some of the funds borrowed under the line of credit held by Blackhawk’s former parent company, Safeway Inc., which maintained a majority interest in Blackhawk after its initial public offering last April.