U.S. fintech firm Blackhawk to go private in $3.5 billion deal

(Reuters) - U.S. financial technology firm Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc HAWK.O said on Tuesday it would be acquired by private equity firm Silver Lake and New York-based hedge fund P2 Capital Partners in an all-cash deal worth about $3.5 billion including debt.

The offer of $45.25 per Blackhawk share represents a 24 percent premium to the stock’s Friday closing price.

Shares of Blackhawk rose 23 percent to $44.90 in premarket trading.

Pleasanton, California-based Blackhawk offers a range of services including gift cards and prepaid debit cards by partnering with companies such as PayPal PYPL.O, American Express AXP.N and Western Union WU.N.

The deal includes a $1.7-billion equity commitment from Silver Lake.

Sandler O’Neill & Partners was Blackhawk’s financial adviser. Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch and affiliates of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan advised Silver Lake.

Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Sai Sachin Ravikumar