'Hawk' Set to Soar With Initial Public Offering

Blackhawk Network Holdings announces filing of registration statement for IPO

PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc., the gift-card and payment services majority-owned subsidiary of grocer Safeway Inc., has announced that it has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO) of Blackhawk's Class A common stock.

The IPO will consist solely of shares to be offered by existing stockholders, including Safeway Inc. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined.

Blackhawk intends to list its common stock on the Nasdaq under the symbol "HAWK."

Safeway currently owns about 96% of Blackhawk and will continue to hold a significant stake in the unit after the IPO, according to the filing, said a Reuters report.

Goldman, Sachs & Co., BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. will serve as joint-bookrunning managers, with Goldman, Sachs & Co. serving as the global coordinator for the proposed offering. Barclays, BMO Capital Markets, Credit Suisse, Piper Jaffray, Raymond James and Wells Fargo Securities will serve as co-managers for the proposed offering. The offering will be made only by means of a prospectus.

Blackhawk is a leading prepaid payment network utilizing proprietary technology to offer a broad range of gift cards, other prepaid products and payment services in the United States and 18 other countries.

Pleasanton, Calif.-based Blackhawk Network is a leading prepaid payment network for consumers and businesses. The company’s Gift Card Mall offers a wide selection of prepaid gift cards from leading consumer, telecom and financial service brands. Gift Card Mall, with access to more than 160 million customer visits each week, is available through a network of leading grocery stores, as well as big box, convenience, pharmacy, specialty stores, Internet retailers and mobile channels, including GiftCardMall.com.