Blackstone has snapped up credit card services provider Alliance Data for $7.8 billion, joining a surge of private equity into dull but profitable back-office firms. The 30% above-market offer for Alliance, which also runs a data processing unit, is the latest in a wave of takeovers in the financial-processing sector that started with KKR's April bid for First Data.
Dallas-based Alliance originally went public only six years ago. Today's deal to turn the company private, which includes more than $1 billion in debt, will allow senior management to stay on, Bloomberg reports. Shares in Alliance rose 25% to $78.49, close to Blackstone's $81.75 a share offer, in afternoon trading.