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Issue Date: Vol. 48, No. 6, June 2008, Posted On: 6/10/2008

Heartland Acquires Business Unit Of Alliance Data Systems

Nick Montano

PRINCETON, NJ — Heartland Payment Systems Inc., based here, has completed its acquisition of the network services business of Alliance Data Systems Corp. for $77.5 million. The parties’ definitive agreement for this acquisition was previously announced on May 5.


Alliance Data’s network services business provides payment-processing solutions for the petroleum industry, convenience and retail stores and parking. According to the latest Nilson Report, a consumer payments system researcher, the business unit is among the industry’s 20 largest payment processors, handling over $17 billion of total bankcard volume and 604 million transactions in 2007. In addition to Visa and MasterCard acquiring, it handles a wide range of payment transactions for its predominantly petroleum customer base, providing approximately 2.6 billion transaction authorizations each year.


Heartland, one of the nation’s 10 largest processors, handled $51.9 billion of total annual card volume last year. Heartland chairman and chief executive Bob Carr said the purchase reinforces his company’s leadership position in the petroleum segment, where it got its start.


Separately, Heartland announced on May 1 record first-quarter net income of $9 million and fully diluted earnings per share of 23¢. The quarter’s total revenues were $340 million, an increase of 19.5% compared with $284 million in the first quarter of 2007. Card processing volume for the three months ended March 31, 2008, increased 18.3% to $13.2 billion from $11.2 billion during the same period last year. The company’s active bankcard merchant roster rose to 158,900 as of March 31, 2008, a 14.2% increase over the past 12 months.


Heartland is a leading provider of credit/debit/prepaid card processing, payroll and payment services; it acquired cashless vending pioneer Debitek two years ago.


In late March, Crane Merchandising Systems and Heartland Payment Systems announced a joint effort to launch Heartland Crane CashCard Solutions for cashless vending. It’s designed to work over cellular or Ethernet networks, and allows local-area, machine-to-machine networking to enable credit-card acceptance on vending equipment. The system was previewed at the National Automatic Merchandising Association Spring Expo.

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