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October 19, 2015

WEX to acquire fleet card provider for $1.1B cash plus shares

File Photo / Tim Greenway Melissa Smith, WEX president and CEO, with Stephen Crowley, senior vice president of shared services and CIO, at the company's South Portland office in a 2014 file photo.

South Portland corporate payment company WEX Inc. said Monday it has agreed to acquire Electronic Funds Source LLC, a fleet card provider, for about $1.1 billion in cash plus stock.

In addition to the cash offering, WEX will issue 4 million shares of common stock to investment funds affiliated with Electronic Funds Source’s owner, private equity firm Warburg Pincus, was the second planned acquisition announced by WEX in the last four days and would be its largest acquisition to date. It was unanimously approved by the WEX board of directors, is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the company said in a release announcing the acquisition.

If approved, the investment funds affiliated with Warburg Pincus will become WEX’s largest shareholder, and Jim Neary, Warburg Pincus’ managing director and member of the executive management group, will join WEX’s board of directors.

Melissa Smith, WEX’s president and CEO, said in a statement that WEX would have the opportunity to draw on the strengths of both companies to drive further scale across the organization, enhance its existing over-the-road business, better serve the needs of mixed fleets and improve the services provided to its customers.

“We are very excited about the prospect of combining these two great companies, which have a strong customer orientation, aligned strategy and a complementary footprint,” Smith said.

WEX and its subsidiaries employ about 2,000 people globally, with about 700 based in Maine.

The deal is expected to be immediately accretive to adjusted net income, according to the release. WEX expects to save about $25 million over a three-year period, excluding one-time integration costs, and to realize about $275 million in present value of tax benefits.

The company said Ogden, Utah-based Electronic Funds Source’s strong track record and broad customer base in mid- and large-sized over-the-road fleet segments is an ideal complement to WEX. Because the the two companies have focused on different parts of the corporate payments sector, the deal would allow customers to benefit from a combined set of capabilities. For WEX customers, the acquisition would mean more of a variety of corporate card options, including a single, multi-purpose card, the release said.

Scott Phillips, president and chief executive officer of EFS, said a statement that WEX shares his company’s focus on continued product innovation, superior service and maintaining long-term customer relationships.

“I look forward to joining the WEX organization, as this combination represents a great match and a win-win for the employees and customers of both companies,” Phillips said.

WEX said in the release that the acquisition would also further diversify WEX’s earnings and help to reduce its exposure to fuel price sensitivity.

In late-morning trading, shares of WEX (NYSE: WEX) were up 5.26%, to $97.13.

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