The South Portland-based payment processing firm Wright Express Corp. has acquired its second foreign company this year by taking a majority stake in UNIK, a Brazilian payroll card business.
In a statement released Thursday, Wright Express' chief executive, Michael Dubyak, said the nearly $21.9 million purchase aims to expand the firm's global footprint, giving access to UNIK's approximately 8,000 corporate clients with four million cards that connect employees to a proprietary network of 30,000 commercial establishments.
The deal also includes the Maine company's potential acquisition of the remaining UNIK shares over the next three years.
The move comes after a string of acquisitions in recent years for the 900-employee Wright Express. In May, Wright Express acquired the London-based CorporatePay in a $27.5 million deal. In another foreign venture, the company purchased the Australian assets of Retail Decisions for $318 million in September of 2010. The company also acquired a Tampa, Fla.-based payroll card provider, rapid! PayCard, for an undisclosed amount in April of 2011.