PLEASANTON -- Blackhawk Network Holdings, the Safeway spin-off that supplies the ubiquitous gift cards seen at an array of retail outlets, intends to raise $230 million through an initial public offering.
The shares for the IPO will be priced at $23 each and Blackhawk plans to offer 10 million shares.
Trading is expected to begin Friday. The ticker symbol for the shares is HAWK and the securities will trade on the NASDAQ.
It appears demand is rising for Blackhawk's IPO. The shares are being priced above the range previously indicated by Blackhawk in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
On April 8, Blackhawk filed papers for a proposed $210 million offer with the pricing at $21.
Blackhawk provides a prepaid payment network that uses its in-house technology to offer a broad range of gift cards, other prepaid products and payment services in the United States and 18 other countries.
For all of 2012, Blackhawk earned $48.2 million on operating revenue of $959.1 million. Compared to 2011, profits jumped 31.9 percent and sales climbed 27.6 percent, according to documents Blackhawk filed with the SEC.
During the fourth quarter of 2012, Blackhawk earned $36.3 million on sales of $452.9 million. Compared to the year-ago fourth quarter, profits rose 39.6 percent and sales increased 27.4 percent, the SEC filing shows.
Blackhawk Network sells gift, phone, sports, ticket, prepaid debit, and prepaid wireless phone cards through a network of more than 100,000 retailers around the world.
The cards can be found in convenience, drug, grocery, and specialty stores, including those operated by San Ramon-based Chevron, and Pleasanton-based Safeway
Blackhawk offers more than 300 brands of cards from companies such as Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Starbucks, Visa, and the NBA.
The cards can be found online or at Gift Card Mall racks, which display hundreds of cards that can be redeemed online or on-site at retail locations.
Despite the rapid robust sales and profit growth, Blackhawk warned that its success must overcome some significant hazards. One of the chief uncertainties is the ever-shifting strength of the network of distribution partners Blackhawk uses
"Our operating revenues may decline if we lose one or more of our top distribution partners, fail to maintain existing relationships with our distribution partners or fail to attract new distribution partners to our network," Blackhawk warned in the SEC filing. "If the financial performance of our distribution partners' businesses declines," Blackhawk also could suffer, the company said.
Contact George Avalos at 408-373-3556 or 925-977-8477. Follow him at twitter.com/george_avalos.