Blackhawk Network Acquires Germany-Based Prepaid Leader Retailo as Part of Ongoing International Expansion Strategy
Deal brings Blackhawk’s retail network to over 40,000 retail locations in world’s 4th largest economy
LONDON – Dec. 2, 2013 – Blackhawk Network announced that it has completed the acquisition of Germany-based Retailo AG, a leading third-party gift card distribution network inGermany, Austria and Switzerland. The acquisition adds over 40,000 new distribution locations, bringing Blackhawk’s total EMEA retail distribution network to approximately 70,000. The deal is part of Blackhawk’s strategy to serve consumers’ demand for gift cards and prepaid solutions across Europe, including Germany where Blackhawk has had limited presence to date.
Through Retailo, Blackhawk adds leading distribution partners in the region such as Rewe, dm-drogerie markt, Kaiser’s Tengelmann and Aral as well as international content partners including Douglas, IKEA, C&A, Tchibo and Mediamarkt Saturn. The acquisition also expands Blackhawk’s digital network offerings through Retailo’s digital gifting network, which comprises email, SMS, smartphone and social media apps. Blackhawk will also benefit from Retailo’s social gifting solutions, universal gift vouchers and gift card package solutions, as well as its established B2B offering.
“Blackhawk is focused on international growth, and the acquisition of Retailo in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and a country where gift cards are becoming increasingly popular with consumers, is a clear indication of our ability to execute strategically to expedite that growth,” said Bill Tauscher, Blackhawk Network CEO. “Christian Lindner and his team at Retailo have built an impressive business, and the synergies between our companies in terms of retail best practices and digital services – to name just a few – have us very excited about the opportunities ahead.”
“Blackhawk is one of the most trusted leaders in prepaid, and Retailo’s market-leading position in Europe’s top economy naturally complements Blackhawk’s strengths in other key European markets such as the UK, France, the Netherlands and the Nordics,” said Christian Linder, Retailo CEO and Founder. “We have admired Blackhawk’s business and how they pioneered this industry. To be joining Bill and the entire Blackhawk team is a perfect fit.”
Retailo will operate as a business unit of Blackhawk, reporting directly to Blackhawk’s EMEA headquarters inLondon, and will maintain its primary offices in Cologne, Germany. Blackhawk funded the purchase with cash from operations.
*IMF, World Economic Outlook
About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. HAWK is a leading prepaid payment network, which supports the distribution of gift cards, prepaid telecom products and financial service products across a global network. Blackhawk’s digital platform supports prepaid across a network of digital distribution partners including etailers, financial service providers and mobile wallets. For more information please visit www.blackhawknetwork.com.
Retailo AG, the leading European multi – channel gift card distributor, operates a network of over 40,000 points of sale at retail outlets such as filling stations, lottery agencies, supermarkets, beauty and bank branches that sell gift cards for over 100 brands, including popular retailers such as Douglas, IKEA, Saturn, Zalando and Amazon.de. Retailo also offers customized solutions for business customers, webshop offerings, smartphone and social media apps. In 2012, Retailo launched the www.jokerkartenwelt.de, a portal for top up of e-money products. For further details and information, visit www.retailo.de and www.geschenkkartenwelt.de.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain 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. Such statements relate to, among other things, the benefits of the acquisition. Forward-looking statements are indicated by words or phrases such as “guidance,” “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “plans,” “continuing,” “ongoing,” and similar words or phrases and the negative of such words and phrases. Forward-looking statements are based on our current plans and expectations and involve risks and uncertainties which are, in many instances, beyond our 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: potential changes in our European strategy or focus on international growth; our ability to integrate Retailo into our company and to retain existing distribution and content partners; our ability to realize the potential benefits of the acquisition, including future international growth opportunities; our ability to grow at historic rates or at all; the consequences should we lose one or more of our top distribution partners or fail to attract new distribution partners to our network or if the financial performance of our distribution partners’ businesses decline; our reliance on our content providers, the demand for their products and our exclusivity arrangements with them; our reliance on relationships with card issuing banks; the consequences to our future growth if our distribution partners fail to actively and effectively promote our products and services; the requirement that we comply with applicable laws and regulations, including increasingly stringent money-laundering rules and regulations; risks related to our ongoing relationship with Safeway; and other risks and uncertainties described in our reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the registration statement filed in connection with our initial public offering and our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. We undertake no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect developments or information obtained after the date hereof and disclaim any obligation to do so other than as may be required by law.