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RRN Industry Deals: Blackhawk Buys Tango, Pluxee Goes Public

Here’s a roundup of the latest financial transactions in the incentive, rewards, and recognition (IRR) market.
Blackhawk has entered into an agreement to purchase Tango Card, a digital business to business (B2B) gift cards provider...Sodexo spins off Pluxee into an independently traded public recognition and benefits firm.

Blackhawk to Buy Tango Card
Pluxee Now Independently Listed on Euronext Paris

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Blackhawk to Buy Tango Card

To further enhance the power of its global rewards platform, payments provider Blackhawk Network (BHN) in California has entered into a “definitive agreement to acquire digital B2B gift card rewards innovator Tango Card (Tango) in Washington state. This is consistent with expectations of further consolidation in the gift card market forecasted in the recent RRN 2024 Market Report: No Big News is Good News. Having passed the anti-trust test, the sale remains subject to routine financial regulatory approvals.
Talbott Roche“Tango pioneered the digital-first reward experience through its powerful API, coupled with world-class service and exceptional breadth of global content, making it the perfect complement to BHN’s global product portfolio,” says Talbott Roche, CEO & president, BHN. “We have been a longtime partner to Tango and were also an early investor. We are thrilled with the opportunity to combine the best of BHN with the best of Tango to provide leading, global, scalable solutions and innovation to the rewards and incentives industry.”
“This strategic acquisition allows customers of BHN and Tango to experience Tango’s innovative B2B incentives platform and customer support, magnified by the industry-leading scale, global connectivity and expertise of BHN,” according to the announcement.
David Leeds“I started Tango 15 years ago to fundamentally improve the incentive industry for customers and their recipients,” says David Leeds, Tango’s Founder and CEO. “Customers today need global rewards, innovative technology, reliable supply chains, and an unwavering focus on support and service. Joining BHN at this time provides a once-in-a-company opportunity to continue innovating in this space, better support our customers’ evolving global needs and create awesome experiences for recipients.”
The rewards and incentives space has experienced significant interest and investment over the last decade, according to the statement. “Tango’s growth equity investor, FTV Capital, first invested in Tango in 2018. Since that time, Tango has grown 800%. The Tango acquisition marks the second time FTV and BHN have partnered on an acquisition.”

Pluxee Now Independently Listed on Euronext Paris

Pluxee announces the listing of its shares on Euronext Paris exchange under the ticker PLX, following its spin-off from Sodexo, based in France. The company is a global player in employee benefits and engagement and owns Inspirus, a recognition firm based on Dallas.
Pluxee’s shares were distributed to Sodexo shareholders on a one-for-one basis. Sodexo’s Bellon family remains a committed long-term shareholder to Pluxee and will hold approximately 42.8% of the outstanding ordinary shares and 60% of the voting rights in the company, according to the announcement.
Aurelien SonetAurélien Sonet, CEO of Pluxee, comments: “By successfully completing Pluxee’s spin-off and listing on Euronext Paris, we take a further step toward the accomplishment of our longstanding vision...As a pure player, we aim to sustain our profitable growth by reinforcing our global leadership position in the buoyant employee benefits and engagement market. Our ambitious strategy, powered by talent, tech and data investments and targeted mergers and acquisitions will drive continued strong financial performance as well as shareholder value creation.”
Over the next three years, the company says it will execute a twofold strategic plan, focused on reinforcing its leadership in meal and food benefits and augmenting its employee benefits and engagement business through six strategic initiatives:
  • Elevate benefits offering to address evolving client and consumer needs.
  • Expand merchant engagement to reinforce win-win partnerships.
  • Scale up existing presence in employee engagement, rewards, and recognition.
  • Acquire new clients with a focus on small- to medium-size enterprises through a segmented sales and marketing strategy.
  • Unlock full client potential, notably through cross-selling.
  • Drive profitability through efficiency gains and operating leverage.

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