Blackstone Makes $7.8B Deal for Alliance

Private equity continues to pour into financial processing
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted May 17, 2007 2:55 PM CDT
Blackstone Makes $7.8B Deal for Alliance
Signs for MasterCard and American Express are posted outside a New York parking garage in a file photo from April 26, 2006. MasterCard Inc., the world's second-biggest credit card franchise, on Wednesday, May 2, 2007 reported favorable currency exchanges and stronger use of its brand overseas pushed...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – 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. (Read more Blackstone Group stories.)

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