Blackhawk Network https://blackhawknetwork.com Optimizing Commerce And Engagement Through Branded Payment Solutions Wed, 18 Apr 2018 02:29:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Insights from CashStar Featured in PaymentsJournal Podcast https://blackhawknetwork.com/insights-from-cashstar-featured-in-payments-journal-podcast/ Wed, 18 Apr 2018 02:03:51 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=10640 Leading payments and banking news outlet PaymentsJournal recently featured insights from CashStar, a Blackhawk Network business, in its brand-new podcast series. In the segment titled, “Podcast: The Customer Journey with Gift Cards,” Blackhawk Vice President of Product, Merchant Commerce Solutions, Gerry Gilbert, discussed current trends in ecommerce customer experience. The segment also included conversation about […]

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jones-blog

Leading payments and banking news outlet PaymentsJournal recently featured insights from CashStar, a Blackhawk Network business, in its brand-new podcast series. In the segment titled, “Podcast: The Customer Journey with Gift Cards,” Blackhawk Vice President of Product, Merchant Commerce Solutions, Gerry Gilbert, discussed current trends in ecommerce customer experience.

The segment also included conversation about the customer journey, payment trends and contextual commerce.

Click here to listen to the audio. The podcast is also available on iTunes.

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Blackhawk Network Executive’s Expertise Published in Incentive Magazine https://blackhawknetwork.com/blackhawk-network-executives-expertise-published-in-incentive-magazine/ Wed, 11 Apr 2018 18:47:02 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=10631 Leading incentives and rewards publication Incentive Magazine recently published an article by Blackhawk Network General Manager of Digital & Incentive Divisions, David Jones. In the article titled, “Why Gift Cards Should Be Going Mobile,” Jones shared his thoughts about the advancing technology of smartphones and the resulting impact on consumers’ expectations for digitally-enabled rewards. Jones […]

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jones-blog

Leading incentives and rewards publication Incentive Magazine recently published an article by Blackhawk Network General Manager of Digital & Incentive Divisions, David Jones. In the article titled, “Why Gift Cards Should Be Going Mobile,” Jones shared his thoughts about the advancing technology of smartphones and the resulting impact on consumers’ expectations for digitally-enabled rewards.

Jones describes how brands can meet these new expectations by suggesting four standards their incentive programs can include:

  • Minimalism
  • Speed
  • Personal Engagement
  • Staying Innovative

Click here to read the full article.

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Blackhawk Network CEO and President, Talbott Roche, named to Prestigious “Most Influential Women in Payments” List https://blackhawknetwork.com/blackhawk-network-ceo-and-president-talbott-roche-named-to-prestigious-most-influential-women-in-payments-list/ Wed, 21 Mar 2018 03:02:07 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=10611 Leading payments industry media outlet PaymentsSource has honored Blackhawk Network CEO and President, Talbott Roche, as one of its 2018 “Most Influential Women in Payments.” The exclusive list recognizes the contributions of female innovators who are adapting their companies and showcasing fresh ideas using new, industry-leading ideas and technologies. Roche is credited for her success […]

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Talbott Roche

Leading payments industry media outlet PaymentsSource has honored Blackhawk Network CEO and President, Talbott Roche, as one of its 2018 “Most Influential Women in Payments.”

The exclusive list recognizes the contributions of female innovators who are adapting their companies and showcasing fresh ideas using new, industry-leading ideas and technologies. Roche is credited for her success guiding Blackhawk through significant change and growth, particularly in third-party retailing of gift cards.

Roche was appointed CEO of Blackhawk Network in February 2016 and was part of the company’s founding team. “We started with just seven card partners and one distribution partner in the US,” she says. “Today, Blackhawk is one of the largest third-party distributors of gift cards in the world.”

The full list of “The Most Influential Women in Payments” is available here. To read the profile on Roche, click here.

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Team Blackhawk Races Through the Livermore Half Marathon https://blackhawknetwork.com/team-blackhawk-races-livermore-half-marathon/ Wed, 07 Mar 2018 16:00:06 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=10585 This past weekend, Blackhawk Network employees strapped on their running shoes for the Livermore Half Marathon & 5K. The race beginning in the heart of downtown Livermore and winding through the city’s scenic vineyards has become an annual and much-anticipated tradition for Blackhawk’s team members. Over 40 Blackhawk employees began race day at local restaurant […]

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This past weekend, Blackhawk Network employees strapped on their running shoes for the Livermore Half Marathon & 5K. The race beginning in the heart of downtown Livermore and winding through the city’s scenic vineyards has become an annual and much-anticipated tradition for Blackhawk’s team members.

Over 40 Blackhawk employees began race day at local restaurant Sauced BBQ & Spirits, where they fueled up on coffee, bagels and fruit, and stretched out on yoga mats and foam rollers on the nearby lawn.

After completing the race through California’s oldest wine country, runners received a branded wine glass and free admission to the post-race Finish Line Festival, where they were able to relax and unwind and sample free tastings from the area’s local wineries and breweries.

Big high-fives to Team Blackhawk for participating in the race, and special thanks to our amazing employee volunteers who helped coordinate!

 

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Blackhawk Businesses Hawk Incentives and Achievers Win Stevie® Awards https://blackhawknetwork.com/blackhawk-businesses-hawk-incentives-achievers-win-stevie-awards/ Mon, 05 Mar 2018 18:59:00 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=10569 The post Blackhawk Businesses Hawk Incentives and Achievers Win Stevie<sup>®</sup> Awards appeared first on Blackhawk Network.

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Two Blackhawk Network businesses have been named winners of four prestigious Stevie® Awards.

The 12th Annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service honor the achievements of contact center, customer service, business development and sales professionals across the globe. Altogether, more than 2,500 worldwide entries were submitted in 89 different categories. Winners were selected by a specialized panel of judges from across the globe, and named in gold, silver and bronze categories.

Hawk Incentives won a Bronze Stevie in “Contact Center of the Year” category. Achievers took home Gold (“Back-Office Customer Service Team of the Year”), Silver (“Innovation in Customer Service”) and Bronze (“Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year”) awards.

To read the full list of award recipients, click here.

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Wells Fargo Selects Blackhawk Network to Expand its Go Far® Rewards Portfolio https://blackhawknetwork.com/wells-fargo-selects-blackhawk-network-expand-go-far-rewards-portfolio/ Mon, 05 Mar 2018 16:30:25 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=10546 One hundred fifty gift card brands now available for eligible Wells Fargo credit card customers PLEASANTON, Calif. – Mar. 5, 2018 – Blackhawk Network—a global financial technology company and a leader in connecting brands and people through branded value solutions—today announced that it has been selected as the gift card content provider for Wells Fargo’s […]

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One hundred fifty gift card brands now available for eligible Wells Fargo credit card customers

PLEASANTON, Calif. – Mar. 5, 2018 Blackhawk Network—a global financial technology company and a leader in connecting brands and people through branded value solutions—today announced that it has been selected as the gift card content provider for Wells Fargo’s Go Far Rewards program redemptions. Through the partnership, Blackhawk expands the Go Far Rewards program selection and enables promotions, increasing value for Wells Fargo consumer credit card customers.

As part of Wells Fargo’s effort to evolve its credit card business with its customers’ changing needs, it introduced the Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards program, which is available to its consumer customers with a cash back or points rewards-based credit card. There are 150 brands from Blackhawk’s vast network of gift card providers now available as physical gift cards, and egift cards in some cases. Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards customers can also redeem their rewards for a variety of other options including travel, merchandise and digital downloads. Blackhawk is managing the expanded gift card reward portfolio and fulfillments of those orders, enabling activation efficiencies.

"According to research from our incentives division,1 when presented with various options for $25 rewards, 35 percent of the consumers surveyed said that they would prefer a gift card over other available options," said Talbott Roche, CEO and president of Blackhawk. "Today’s consumers crave flexibility and accessibility, and with so many digital and loyalty use cases that go beyond traditional gift cards, our platform and promotional expertise allows Wells Fargo credit card customers to convert Go Far Rewards into branded value and make the most of their rewards."

The expanded catalogue features new gift card choices and categories, including local, regional and national merchants in both physical and egift forms and a variety of denominations.

"Through our Go Far Rewards program, we offer a catalog of the freshest, most popular brands to make our customers feel rewarded," said Marc Skurla, vice president, Rewards and Offers Management at Wells Fargo. "Blackhawk’s technology platform, extensive catalog and marketing expertise make it easier for us to manage both our physical and e-gift reward offerings and spend more time focusing on delivering other innovations to our customers. Our improved rewards portfolio will also enable us to offer more targeted choices and promotions driving value both to the consumer as well as to the participating gift card partners."

About Blackhawk Network 
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) is a global financial technology company and a leader in connecting brands and people through branded value solutions. Blackhawk platforms and solutions enable the management of stored value products, promotions and rewards programs in retail, ecommerce, financial services and mobile wallets. Blackhawk’s Hawk Commerce division offers technology solutions to businesses and direct to consumers. The Hawk Incentives division offers enterprise, SMB and reseller partners an array of platforms and branded value products to incent and reward consumers, employees and sales channels. Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., Blackhawk operates in 26 countries. For more information, please visit blackhawknetwork.comhawkcommerce.comhawkincentives.com or our product websites GiftCards.comgiftcardmall.comCardpool.com, GiftCardLab.com and OmniCard.com.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,300 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 263,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2017 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

1 "Hawk Incentives Rewards Preference" was an online survey conducted by Leger on behalf of Hawk Incentives in February 2017. The sample size included 1,022 Americans.

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Blackhawk Network Partners with Casey’s General Stores to Enable ‘Cash Customers’ with Amazon Cash https://blackhawknetwork.com/blackhawk-network-partners-caseys-general-stores-enable-cash-customers-amazon-cash/ Mon, 29 Jan 2018 16:00:08 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=10527 PLEASANTON, Calif. – January 29, 2018 – Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc., a global financial technology company, has partnered with Casey’s General Stores, Inc. to enable the retailer to offer Amazon Cash to its shoppers who don’t have a bank account or prefer not to use debit or credit cards for purchases. Leveraging Blackhawk’s technology, Casey’s […]

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PLEASANTON, Calif. – January 29, 2018 Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc., a global financial technology company, has partnered with Casey’s General Stores, Inc. to enable the retailer to offer Amazon Cash to its shoppers who don’t have a bank account or prefer not to use debit or credit cards for purchases. Leveraging Blackhawk’s technology, Casey’s General Stores rolled out Amazon Cash across the midwest on January 1st, 2018.

Amazon Cash allows consumers to load between $15 and $500 in cash to their Amazon Balance without fees by simply presenting a personalized Amazon barcode to a cashier at a participating retailer, along with the money they wish to load. The amount is then applied to the customer’s existing Amazon account and available to use for online shopping of eligible products and digital content on Amazon.com.

“We are thrilled to offer our customers the added convenience of Amazon Cash at Casey’s General Stores, which we anticipate will drive additional foot traffic in our retail locations around the country,” said Bill Walljasper, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Casey’s General Stores. “By partnering with Blackhawk, we are able to bring Amazon Cash to our stores and continue to be a one-stop shop for our diverse group of customers, including cash-based shoppers.”

David Tate, senior vice president of Blackhawk, commented, “We are excited about the first Amazon Cash launch with Casey’s General Stores. The integration of Amazon Cash into our network gives us new growth opportunities for our technology, and expands financial inclusion for unbanked or cash customers. According to a 2015 report by the FDIC1, the unbanked or under-banked customer accounts for about 27 percent of consumers.”

About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) is a global financial technology company and a leader in connecting brands and people through branded value solutions. Blackhawk platforms and solutions enable the management of stored value products, promotions and incentive programs in retail, ecommerce, financial services and mobile wallets. Blackhawk’s Hawk Commerce division offers technology solutions to businesses and direct to consumers. The Hawk Incentives division offers enterprise, SMB and reseller partners an array of platforms and branded value products to incent and reward consumers, employees and sales channels. Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., Blackhawk operates in 26 countries. For more information, please visit blackhawknetwork.com, hawkcommerce.com, hawkincentives.com or our product websites giftcards.com, giftcardmall.com, cardpool.com, giftcardlab.com and omnicard.com.

About Casey’s General Stores

Casey’s General Stores is a Fortune-500 company (NASDAQ CASY) operating over 2,000 stores in 15 states throughout the Midwest.

Casey’s strives to consistently deliver quality gasoline, freshly-prepared foods, clean environments and friendly service at every retail location. Casey’s is currently the fourth largest convenience store chain, and the fifth largest pizza chain in the United States.

1 The FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households was administered in June 2015 in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and collected responses from 36,000+ U.S. households to access the inclusiveness of the banking system.

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Blackhawk Network Executive’s Expertise Published in Digital Transactions https://blackhawknetwork.com/blackhawk-network-executives-expertise-published-digital-transactions/ Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:44:00 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=10518 Business and technology publication Digital Transactions recently published an article by Blackhawk Network General Manager of Digital & Incentive Divisions, David Jones. In the article titled, “Three Key Considerations When Offering App-Based Loyalty Programs” Jones shared his thoughts about how to improve consumer experiences by offering digitally-based loyalty programs. Jones describes how brands can stand […]

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Business and technology publication Digital Transactions recently published an article by Blackhawk Network General Manager of Digital & Incentive Divisions, David Jones. In the article titled, “Three Key Considerations When Offering App-Based Loyalty Programs” Jones shared his thoughts about how to improve consumer experiences by offering digitally-based loyalty programs.

Jones describes how brands can stand out by meeting consumers’ demands for personalization through app-powered experiences, and provides readers with three best practices to consider as a starting point:

  • Utilize digital data to gain deeper consumer insights and provide customer-driven personalization
  • Offer reward flexibility
  • Keep it simple

To read the full article, click here.

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Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. to be Acquired by Silver Lake and P2 Capital Partners for $3.5 Billion https://blackhawknetwork.com/blackhawk-network-holdings-inc-acquired-silver-lake-p2-capital-partners-3-5-billion/ Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:47:58 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=10508 Blackhawk’s stockholders to receive $45.25 per share in cash, representing a 29.3% premium over the average closing share price during the 90 calendar days ended January 12, 2018 PLEASANTON, Calif. – January 16, 2018 – Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) (“Blackhawk”), a global financial technology company and a leader in prepaid gift, reward and […]

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Blackhawk’s stockholders to receive $45.25 per share in cash, representing a 29.3% premium over the average closing share price during the 90 calendar days ended January 12, 2018

PLEASANTON, Calif. – January 16, 2018 Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) (“Blackhawk”), a global financial technology company and a leader in prepaid gift, reward and incentive technologies and solutions, today announced that Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing, and P2 Capital Partners have agreed to acquire Blackhawk in an all-cash transaction for a total consideration of approximately $3.5 billion, which includes Blackhawk’s debt. Under the terms of the agreement, Blackhawk stockholders will receive $45.25 per share in cash upon closing of the transaction, representing a premium of 24.0% over Blackhawk’s closing share price of $36.50 on January 12, 2018 and a premium of 29.3% over the average closing share price during the 90 calendar days ended January 12, 2018.

Blackhawk operates a leading physical and digital gift card and prepaid payments network with global scale, connecting more than 1,000 brands to over 244,000 retail distribution locations and online channels. Upon completion of the transaction Blackhawk will operate as a private company under the leadership of the current management team. Blackhawk’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved the definitive merger agreement and recommends that stockholders vote in favor of the transaction. The definitive agreement has fully committed debt and equity financing, including an approximately $1.7 billion equity commitment from Silver Lake. P2 Capital Partners, which beneficially owns approximately 5.4% of Blackhawk’s outstanding common stock, has committed to vote in favor of the proposed transaction.

“After a thorough assessment, the Board has determined that this transaction represents a compelling outcome for our stockholders, customers and employees. It recognizes the value of Blackhawk’s prospects while providing stockholders with an immediate cash value at a substantial premium,” said Bill Tauscher, Executive Chairman of Blackhawk.

“This transaction delivers immediate benefits and significant value to our stockholders,” said Talbott Roche, CEO and President of Blackhawk. “Silver Lake and P2 Capital Partners bring 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.”

“Blackhawk’s outstanding network of partners and proprietary technology creates a unique franchise in the payments industry with a proven ability to innovate in both the physical and digital segments,” said Mike Bingle, Managing Partner at Silver Lake. “We are excited to work with Blackhawk’s world-class management team and our new partners at P2 Capital Partners to strengthen the company’s position in large and growing parts of the financial technology ecosystem.”

“This transaction represents the best way to maximize value for all stockholders,” said Alex Silver, Partner at P2 Capital Partners. “We have been an investor and supporter of Blackhawk’s strategy and management for several years, and we look forward to working with Silver Lake and Blackhawk management to drive the company’s next stage of growth.”

The transaction, which is expected to close mid-2018, is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of stockholder and regulatory approvals. The definitive merger agreement permits Blackhawk’s Board of Directors and its advisors to solicit, receive, evaluate and enter into negotiations with respect to alternative proposals through February 9, 2018. There can be no assurance that this process will result in a superior proposal, and Blackhawk’s Board of Directors does not intend to disclose developments with respect to the solicitation process unless and until the Board makes a determination requiring further disclosure.

Sandler O’Neill & Partners, L.P., is acting as financial advisor to Blackhawk, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as Blackhawk’s legal advisor in the transaction.

Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch, affiliates of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and J.P. Morgan (in alphabetical order) are acting as financial advisors to Silver Lake and are providing debt financing to Blackhawk in connection with the transaction. Citi is providing debt financing to Blackhawk in connection with the transaction. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as Silver Lake’s legal advisor, and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is serving as legal advisor to P2 Capital Partners.

About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) is a global financial technology company and a leader in connecting brands and people through branded value solutions. Blackhawk platforms and solutions enable the management of stored value products, promotions and incentive programs in retail, ecommerce, financial services and mobile wallets. Blackhawk’s Hawk Commerce division offers technology solutions to businesses and direct to consumers. The Hawk Incentives division offers enterprise, SMB and reseller partners an array of platforms and branded value products to incent and reward consumers, employees and sales channels. Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., Blackhawk operates in 26 countries. For more information, please visit blackhawknetwork.com, hawkcommerce.com, hawkincentives.com or our product websites giftcards.com, giftcardmall.com, cardpool.com, giftcardlab.com and omnicard.com.

About Silver Lake
Silver Lake is the global leader in technology investing, with about $39 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital and a team of approximately 100 investment and value creation professionals located in Silicon Valley, New York, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Silver Lake’s portfolio of investments collectively generates more than $140 billion of revenue annually and employs more than 300,000 people globally. The firm’s current portfolio includes leading technology and technology-enabled businesses such as Alibaba Group, Ancestry, Broadcom Limited, Cast & Crew, Ctrip, Dell Technologies, Endeavor, Fanatics, Global Blue, GoDaddy, Motorola Solutions, Red Ventures, Sabre, SoFi, SolarWinds and Symantec. For more information about Silver Lake and its entire portfolio, please visit www.silverlake.com.

About P2 Capital Partners
P2 Capital Partners is a New York-based investment firm that applies a private equity approach to investing in the public market. P2 Capital Partners manages a concentrated portfolio of significant ownership stakes in high quality public companies in which it is an active shareholder focused on creating long-term value in partnership with management. The firm will also lead private equity transactions within its public portfolio. P2 Capital Partners’ limited partners include leading public pension funds, corporate pension funds, endowments, foundations, insurance companies, and high net worth investors.

Contacts

Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc.:

Investors
Patrick Cronin
Patrick.Cronin@bhnetwork.com
+1-925-226-9939

Media
Sheila Ennis / Dan Scorpio
sbe@abmac.com/dps@abmac.com
+1-415-745-3294 / +1-212-371-5999

Silver Lake and P2 Capital Partners:

Media
Patricia Graue / Alice Gibb
silverlake@brunswickgroup.com
+1-212-333-3810

Additional Information and Where to Find It
This communication relates to the proposed merger transaction involving Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”). In connection with the proposed merger, the Company will file relevant materials with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including the Company’s proxy statement on Schedule 14A (the “Proxy Statement”). This communication is not a substitute for the Proxy Statement or any other document that the Company may file with the SEC or send to its stockholders in connection with the proposed merger. BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING DECISION, STOCKHOLDERS OF THE COMPANY ARE URGED TO READ ALL RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC, INCLUDING THE PROXY STATEMENT, WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain the documents (when available) free of charge at the SEC’s website, http://www.sec.gov, and the Company’s website, www.blackhawknetwork.com. In addition, the documents (when available) may be obtained free of charge by directing a request to Patrick Cronin by email at investor.relations@bhnetwork.com or by calling (925) 226-9973.

Participants in Solicitation
The Company and its directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the holders of the Company’s common stock in respect of the proposed transaction. Information about the directors and executive officers of the Company is set forth in the proxy statement for the Company’s 2017 annual meeting of stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on April 20, 2017, and in other documents filed by the Company, including on behalf of such individuals, with the SEC. Other information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in the Proxy Statement and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC in respect of the proposed transaction when they become available.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Certain statements contained in this communication may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are indicated by words or phrases such as “guidance,” “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “forecasts,” “can,” “could,” “may,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “plans,” “projects,” “seeks,” “should,” “targets,” “will,” “would,” “outlook,” “continuing,” “ongoing,” and similar words or phrases and the negative of such words and phrases. Forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s current plans and expectations and involve risks and uncertainties which are, in many instances, beyond the Company’s control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in or contemplated or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include the following: the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the merger agreement; the failure to obtain the Company’s stockholders’ approval of the transaction; the failure to obtain certain required regulatory approvals to the completion of the transaction or the failure to satisfy any of the other conditions to the completion of the transaction; the effect of the announcement of the transaction on the ability of the Company to retain and hire key personnel and maintain relationships with its partners, clients, customers, providers, advertisers, and others with whom it does business, or on its operating results and businesses generally; risks associated with the disruption of management’s attention from ongoing business operations due to the transaction; the ability to meet expectations regarding the timing and completion of the merger; and other risks and uncertainties described in the Company’s reports and filings with the SEC, including the risks and uncertainties set forth in Item 1A under the heading Risk Factors in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 filed with the SEC on February 27, 2017 and other periodic reports the Company files with the SEC, which are available at www.sec.gov and the Company’s website at www.blackhawknetwork.com. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect developments or information obtained after the date hereof and disclaims any obligation to do so other than as may be required by law. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof.

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Blackhawk Network to Expand Alipay Mobile Wallet Acceptance to Select Top Retailers https://blackhawknetwork.com/blackhawk-network-expand-alipay-mobile-wallet-acceptance-select-top-retailers/ Mon, 15 Jan 2018 18:00:18 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=10498 Blackhawk to Enable Participating Retailer Partners in the U.S. to Engage with Chinese Travelers PLEASANTON, Calif. – January 15, 2018 – Blackhawk Network, a global financial technology company, and Alipay, a leading digital payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, have partnered to expand Alipay’s mobile payment acceptance and engagement offerings to participating U.S. […]

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Blackhawk to Enable Participating Retailer Partners in the U.S. to Engage with Chinese Travelers

PLEASANTON, Calif. – January 15, 2018 Blackhawk Network, a global financial technology company, and Alipay, a leading digital payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, have partnered to expand Alipay’s mobile payment acceptance and engagement offerings to participating U.S. retailers. Leveraging Blackhawk’s technology, the partnership will present an opportunity for Blackhawk’s network of retail partners to elect to engage with visiting Chinese travelers. Blackhawk intends to roll out the service in select participating retailers beginning January 2018.

Alipay currently boasts more than 520 million active Chinese users. Through this partnership, Blackhawk’s retailers intend to connect with Alipay users traveling in the U.S. by accepting in-store payment via Alipay and are searchable to users on Alipay’s Discover platform. Retailers can increase brand visibility, drive store traffic and sales, reduce payment friction and gain valuable insight into their tourist consumers’ preferences.

"Until now, Chinese tourists lacked convenient access to information on what payment methods were accepted at U.S. retailers they wished to visit," said Talbott Roche, CEO and president of Blackhawk. "Alipay is ubiquitous in China, and represents an effective way for retailers to engage with Chinese travelers. We are excited to offer our retail partners a way to better connect with Chinese consumers by alleviating the major pain points of shopping, researching and paying while visiting and ultimately, providing Alipay users with an excellent shopping experience while they travel here in the U.S.."

Blackhawk’s innovative solution leverages in-store QR codes to access Blackhawk’s proprietary platform which then enables instant issuance of a retailer’s branded stored-value egift. In addition to mobile and online payments and money transfers, Alipay users can get local recommendations, find promotions, book a hotel, buy movie tickets or even make doctors’ appointments directly within the app.

"Approximately 4 million Chinese tourists visit North America every year 1. Many of those travelers are Alipay consumers already and are looking for the payment safety, convenience and efficiency they are accustomed to at home," said Souheil Badran, president of Alipay Americas. "We partnered with Blackhawk for its robust network of top-tier retailer partners, its innovative solutions and proprietary technology, and we are pleased to continue to provide Chinese travelers with a seamless shopping and payment experience in North America."

About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) is a global financial technology company and a leader in connecting brands and people through branded value solutions. Blackhawk platforms and solutions enable the management of stored value products, promotions and incentive programs in retail, ecommerce, financial services and mobile wallets. Blackhawk’s Hawk Commerce division offers technology solutions to businesses and direct to consumers. The Hawk Incentives division offers enterprise, SMB and reseller partners an array of platforms and branded value products to incent and reward consumers, employees and sales channels. Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., Blackhawk operates in 26 countries. For more information, please visit blackhawknetwork.com, hawkcommerce.com, hawkincentives.com or our product websites giftcards.com, giftcardmall.com, cardpool.com, giftcardlab.com and omnicard.com.

About Alipay
Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay currently has over 520 million active Chinese users and over 200 financial institution partners in China. Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Over 40 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay across China. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers more than 35 countries and regions across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 24 countries and regions. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies. Follow us on Twitter @antfinancial and @alipay.

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 timing of acceptance by U.S. retailers of this new service, and future launch of new technology services. 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. 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.

1 Ant Financial Proprietary Research – 2017

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