SOUTH PORTLAND, ME - Wright Express Corporation, a provider of payment processing and information management services to the U.S. commercial and government fleet industry, has entered into a definitive share purchase agreement to acquire the Australian assets of Retail Decisions consisting of its fleet and prepaid card businesses from Palamon Capital Partners, a private equity firm, and its co-investors Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners and AlpInvest Partners for approximately AU$353 million in cash (approximately US$318 million).

The all-cash transaction is anticipated to be immediately accretive to the Company's adjusted net income (which is a non-GAAP measure) and is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to regulatory approval. Wright Express made the announcement July 30.

This transaction consists of ReD Fuel and ReD Prepaid. ReD Fuel is Australia's largest multi-branded fuel card issuer with 270,000 cards in circulation. Its fleet cards are accepted at approximately 90 percent of Australian fuel retailers. ReD Prepaid is a processor of prepaid cards in Australia with approximately 60 percent market share.

For 2009, these businesses generated revenues totaling AU$61.4 million combined.

"This transaction is another step in advancing our international strategy," said Michael Dubyak, chairman and chief executive officer of Wright Express. "ReD Fuel and Prepaid provide us with international revenue diversification in an established, but growing market with an opportunity to further service an estimated nine hundred thousand small fleet vehicles in Australia currently without fuel cards. ReD Fuel will allow us to go to market with full service capabilities in Australia including private label, co-brand, and universal card programs, similar to our North American strategy. In addition to our processing capabilities, we will now be able to provide fully operational services to oil companies in Australia and New Zealand.

"Importantly, ReD Prepaid's card business enhances our diversification strategy and provides us a new platform for growth outside of our fleet card business. This complements our successful efforts to diversify the Company's revenue to reduce fuel-price sensitivity, led by our MasterCard business," Dubyak said.

BofA Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisor to Wright Express while WilmerHale and Mallesons Stephen Jaques provided legal counsel.


Originally posted on Automotive Fleet