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Wright Express Buying Fleet One

USB BAC

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Wright Express Corporation has penned a definitive agreement with Fleet One, a provider of fuel cards, financial services and fleet management solutions, to acquire the latter for a cash payment of $369 million. The deal, which is subject to regulatory clearance and other closing conditions, is expected to consummate in the fourth quarter this year.

Wright Express will acquire Fleet One from LLR Partners and FTV Capital, the private equity firms which jointly own the company. The company is also expected to finance this deal through its existing credit facility. Its shares hit an all-time high, increasing 8.8% (or $5.9) to close at $72.95 yesterday.

BofA Merrill Lynch, a unit of Bank of America Corporation (BAC - Analyst Report), is acting as Wright Express’ financial advisor while WilmerHale is providing legal advice on the deal. On the other hand, FT Partners and Pepper Hamilton LLP are providing financial and legal assistance, respectively, to Fleet One.

The deal will bolster Wright Express’ adjusted net income after making all one-time adjustments and also offer a significant tax benefit of roughly $100 million.

The company’s competitors are equally proactive on the expansion front, striving to broaden their services and global footprint. U.S. Bank – a division of U.S. Bancorp (USB - Analyst Report) – invested $75,000 in Innovate North State, a regional organization, for 3 years to develop the manufacturing sector in Northern California.

Another peer, Lender Processing Services, Inc. , signed a definitive agreement with RentRange, a market intelligence company furnishing rental services, to provide “property income data.”

Wright Express carries a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. On the other hand, U.S. Bancorp and Lender Processing Services both retain a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term Buy rating.

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