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Global Payments buys Heartland for $4.3 billion

Global Payments said the acquisition significantly expands its U.S. direct small and medium-size enterprise distribution, merchant base and vertical reach.

Global Payments Inc., a worldwide provider of payment technology services, earlier this week announced a definitive agreement to acquire Heartland Payment Systems, one of the nation’s largest payment companies.

The deal is worth some $4.3 billion in cash and stock options.

Global Payments said in a press release that the acquisition significantly expands its U.S. direct small and medium-size enterprise distribution, merchant base and vertical reach. Heartland's strengths in direct sales and technology-led distribution are highly complementary to Global Payments' expertise in 60 vertical markets with 2,000 technology partners. The company believes that the combination will leverage Global Payments scalable, worldwide infrastructure, and drive substantial technological and operational synergies.

Global Payments expects to accelerate revenue growth by combining Heartland's deep expertise in technology solutions with its OpenEdge partner integration, network and marketing capabilities to create a distinctive set of solutions and distribution, according to the announcement. In addition, Global Payments plans to leverage Heartland's product and sales capabilities globally through direct distribution in the 29 countries in which Global Payments currently does business. Opportunities to cross-sell Heartland's point-of-sale, payroll, loyalty and gift solutions into Global Payments core U.S. and international markets will be augmented by deeper penetration into key Heartland vertical markets including restaurant and education.

The combined company will provide market-leading payments solutions to nearly 2.5 million merchants globally, according to the announcement.

"This partnership with Heartland marks a major milestone for our company, significantly enhancing our direct presence in our largest market and transforming Global Payments into the leading provider of integrated payments technology solutions in the world," Global Payments CEO Jeffrey S. Sloan said in a statement. "The combination of strong businesses and cultures in high growth markets will generate exceptional opportunities for our employees, customers, partners and shareholders worldwide."

"The combination of Global Payments and Heartland will be transformative for the worldwide payments industry," Heartland chairman and CEO Robert O. Carr said in a statement. "Under Jeff's leadership, I believe the combination of our companies will become the most valuable payments company on the planet. Heartland is excited to team with a truly international company. In the U.S., Heartland will continue to operate under its brand and under its business model of fair dealing with the Merchant Bill of Rights and the Sales Professional Bill of Rights guiding the way to future growth and innovation."