Blackhawk Network Acquires GiftCards.com and OmniCard.com
Acquisition will add high traffic prepaid card websites to Blackhawk’s ecommerce portfolio
PLEASANTON, Calif., January 6, 2016 – Blackhawk Network, a leading prepaid and payments network, announced today that it has acquired GiftCards.com, LLC, which sells digital and physical prepaid gift card solutions to consumers through a high-trafficked gift card U.S. website, and OmniCard, LLC, which sells customized prepaid incentive and reward solutions for business clients. The new sites and customers will add to Blackhawk’s rapidly expanding ecommerce businesses.
“We’re excited to add another gift card website to our roster; with GiftCards.com often ranking high in search engine results, this acquisition is expected to enhance Blackhawk’s leadership in the gift card ecommerce market,” said Talbott Roche, Blackhawk Network’s president. “By merging our current ecommerce offerings and the distinctive assets offered by GiftCards.com, we’ll be able to deliver the broadest selection of gift cards to current and future customers, both individual consumers and corporate buyers.”
GiftCards.com offers differentiating features, including its GiftLocal product which uses the open network as a gift card solution for local merchants and a “virtual” Visa gift card delivered by email or in a mobile app.
“This is such an exciting moment for GiftCards.com and I couldn’t imagine a better pairing than with Blackhawk Network,” said Jason Wolfe, CEO of GiftCards.com. “We’re confident that our customers will benefit significantly from the expanded reach, products and services that Blackhawk has to offer.”
“By adding GiftCards.com to Blackhawk’s suite of gift card ecommerce solutions, we expect to broaden our open and closed loop product offerings and provide more ways customers can purchase gift cards through more websites and mobile applications,” said David Jones, general manager of Global Digital and eCommerce at Blackhawk Network. “The GiftCards.com team has built a leading solution for online and the business fits extremely well with our digital solutions direction and vision.”
About the Acquisition
Effective January 5, 2016, Blackhawk purchased the ownership interests of Omni Prepaid, LLC from Wolfe, LLC which in turn resulted in the acquisition of GiftCards.com, LLC and OmniCard, LLC. The purchase price was approximately $120 million and will be funded using a combination of cash on hand and borrowings under an existing credit facility. Blackhawk may realize future cash tax benefits resulting from amortization of a step-up in the tax basis of assets of up to $26 million on a net present value basis. The acquisition is consistent with Blackhawk’s growth strategy around its digital product expansion and is expected to be accretive to Blackhawk net income in fiscal 2016.
Financial Technology Partners LP and FTP Securities LLC (together “FT Partners”) served as exclusive strategic and financial advisors to Omni Prepaid LLC (GiftCards.com) in this transaction.
About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) is a leading prepaid and payments global company, which supports the program management and distribution of gift cards, prepaid telecom products and financial service products in a number of different retail, digital and incentive channels. Blackhawk’s digital platform supports prepaid across a network of digital distribution partners including retailers, financial service providers, and mobile wallets. For more information, please visit www.blackhawknetwork.com and www.giftcardmall.com.
Since 1999, GiftCards.com has been providing U.S. consumers with an array of gift card products including personalized gift cards, group gift cards, egift cards, and local gift cards redeemable at leading national, regional and local establishments across the country. GiftCards.com is also a leader in gift card innovation. The company has also donated gift cards to underprivileged children through its “You Gift, We Gift” program and has made an annual contribution in each of its employee’s name to the employee’s charity of choice. More information about GiftCards.com can be found on the company’s media page.
OmniCard provides incentive and reward prepaid products to corporate clients across multiple industries including healthcare, energy, manufacturing, real estate and marketing agencies. OmniCard operates as an independent prepaid program manager in partnership with major banks, processors and the Visa, MasterCard®, & Discover® payment networks.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove incorrect, could cause the results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: risks related to the demand for gift card ecommerce market, the success of merging and converting the platforms acquired from GiftCards.com and OmniPrepaid.com onto Blackhawk’s existing platforms and the results from the use of the acquired digital and physical prepaid card solutions. The statements contained in this press release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are often identified by the use of words such as, but not limited to, “anticipate,” “believe,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions or variations intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on the beliefs and assumptions of Blackhawk’s management based on information currently available to management. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results and the timing of certain events to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including Blackhawk’s ability to successfully integrate the acquired business and products; costs related to the acquisition; whether demand for gift card ecommerce market grows as anticipated; the competitive environment in the industry and competitive response to the acquisition; general market and business conditions; and the accounting impact of the acquisition. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those identified in the “Risk Factors” section in Blackhawk’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Furthermore, such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. Except as required by law, Blackhawk undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements.