Bloomberg News

Safeway Gift-Card Provider Blackhawk Raises $230 Million in IPO

April 19, 2013

Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc., the gift-card provider owned by grocer Safeway Inc. (SWY:US), raised $230 million in its initial public offering, pricing the shares above the marketed range.

The company sold 10 million shares at $23 each, according to a statement yesterday, after the Pleasanton, California-based company offered them for $20 to $22 each. Blackhawk will start trading today, listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol HAWK.

At the IPO price, Blackhawk’s market value would be about $1.2 billion. Safeway, the second-largest U.S. grocery-store chain, said last year that it planned to sell a minority stake in the gift-card provider. Blackhawk’s products include prepaid cards to restaurants, retail and grocery stores in the U.S. and 18 other countries.

Blackhawk’s revenue rose 28 percent to $959.1 million last year as the company added customers, according to regulatory filings (HAWK:US). About 15 percent of the 2012 sales (HAWK:US) came from Blackhawk’s international business, which includes operations in countries such as the U.K. and Australia.

The company sold a 19 percent stake in the IPO, the offering terms show. Safeway may prevent Blackhawk from selling additional stock so that the parent can maintain the 80 percent ownership required to complete a tax-free spinoff, the filing shows. Safeway has told Blackhawk that it currently has no plans for such a spinoff, according to the filing.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG led the sale.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Alnwick in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeffrey McCracken at

Cash Is for Losers

Companies Mentioned

  • SWY
    (Safeway Inc)
    • $34.83 USD
    • 0.01
    • 0.03%
  • HAWK
    (Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc)
    • $35.94 USD
    • 0.78
    • 2.17%
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