Vantiv Inc. announces $1.65 billion acquisition of Colorado payment processing firm

Mercury Payment System could accelerate growth

CINCINNATI - Vantiv Inc. is already one of the nation's fastest-growing technology companies. Now, it's looking to accelerate that growth with a $1.65 billion acquisition.

The Symmes Township-based payment processing company has agreed to acquire Mercury Payment Systems of Durango, Colo. The deal is expected to increase Vantiv's revenue growth by one to two percentage points annually.

Mercury generated 2013 revenue of $237 million with earnings before taxes, interest and depreciation of $93 million. Vantiv expects the acquisition to be "modestly accretive" to earnings in 2014.

Vantiv said the Mercury acquisition improves its ability to provide "an expanded set of payments solutions, such as online and omni-channel commerce, to technology partners and dealers. Mercury further expands Vantiv’s reach into the small and medium-sized business segment."

Vantiv's stock is up 3 percent from Friday's close to $29.82 per share. Mercury, which is majority-owned by the Silver Lake private equity firm, filed for an initial public offering in March, but the IPO hadn't been priced yet.

Vantiv is hoping to complete the acquisition by June, pending regulatory reviews.

The Vantiv acquisition continues a trend toward increase acquisition activity by Cincinnati-based public companies. Experts told WCPO in February the trend is a positive sign for the local economy.

“It shows people are willing to deploy capital and put capital to work,” said Jeremy Hayden, attorney with the Frost Brown Todd law firm downtown. “They’ve got a lot of dry powder or cash on the books. They’ve got the question of how do we deliver more shareholder value? They’ve done all the expense cutting they can do, right? Organic growth is pretty tough. So, if you really want growth you’ve got to go out there and buy that growth.”

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