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Blackhawk Network Acquires CashStar For $175M

1blackhawkBlackhawk Network, Inc., a global financial tech company, has acquired gift card commerce solutions provider CashStar, Inc. for $175 million in cash. The company said the acquisition will strengthen its position in the digital gift card market.

CashStar will become part of the Blackhawk digital and incentives business. Ben Kaplan, CEO and President of CashStar, will continue to manage the business and will report to David Jones, General Manager of Digital and Incentives for Blackhawk.

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First-party gift card market transaction dollar volume is estimated at $100 billion+ and digital is the fastest growing segment of that market, according to a company press release. The CashStar commerce platform is designed to help retailers market, sell and distribute digital and plastic gift cards in the first-party digital card business.

“The acquisition strategically enhances Blackhawk’s ability to provide the right digital solutions to our partners to meet the changing needs of business customers and consumers,” said Talbott Roche, CEO and President of Blackhawk Network in a statement. “With CashStar margins projected in the range of 25% to 30% for fiscal 2018, Blackhawk maintains its focus on margin expansion.”

“Joining forces with Blackhawk will help us deliver even more powerful capabilities and new revenue opportunities for our clients and partners,” said Kaplan in a statement. “Together, we can provide merchants with unified end-to-end solutions for B2B and B2C gift card distribution. The combination of our platform and Blackhawk’s product breadth and global reach creates innovative new applications for branded value and mobile payments.” 

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