Blackhawk Network Acquires GiftCards.com

by Ben Jackson 0

Prepaid card distributor Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc., announced Jan. 6 that it has acquired GiftCards.com LLC and OmniCard LLC in a cash deal valued at approximately $120 million. The purchase will give Blackhawk, which is based in Pleasanton, Calif., additional online gift card sales distribution tools and add to its incentives business with the OmniCard piece.

Read the press release here:

The deal will also build on Blackhawk’s Cardpool business, which allows customers to sell unwanted gift cards and buy discounted gift cards that others have sold. Blackhawk acquired Cardpoll in 2001. GiftCards.com owns and operates SaveYa and Swapagift. In 2009, Swapagift.com, a subsidiary of GiftCards.com, announced that it has 600 agent locations in the United States where people could receive cash for unwanted gift cards. In January 2016, the site said that it had over 1,200 locations, however, the link to find an agent referred back to the home page. A link to mail in the cards leads to an offer page on GiftCards.com, which then refers to SaveYa, another GiftCards.com subsidiary.

An article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that the company had $160 million in revenue in 2014, and was on track to reach $200 million in sales in 2015.

Omni Prepaid LLC, which is based in Pittbsurgh, Pa., was the parent company for both Web sites. The company was founded in 1999, by Jason Wolfe. According to GiftCards.com, Wolfe grew up in the Milton Hershey School, which was founded by the chocolate company’s founder in 1909 for orphaned boys. The school is now co-educational and accepts students from low-income families as well. The company has had a program in place where it provides gift cards to needy children.

“Swapagift.com Announces 600 Agent Locations For Gift Card Redemptions,” press release, June 30, 2009. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/swapagiftcom-announces-600-agent-locations-for-gift-card-redemptions-61928332.html

Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group