LONDON, Dec. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackhawk Network, Inc., a leading global prepaid payment network, today announced its first commercial agreement to address markets in Africa by bringing iTunes Gift Cards to South Africa through a partnership with Opengate, a subsidiary of Value+Nettwork, a leading distributor of third party gift cards.
For Blackhawk Network, the partnership with Opengate is indicative of the company's interest in emerging markets. It is expected that iTunes Gift Cards will be distributed nationally in more than 700 stores, across 10 leading retail chains, including the Walmart division Massmart and its three brands, Makro, Game and Dion Wired, as well as Pick n Pay, a leading supermarket chain, electronics retailer Incredible Connection and CNA. The cards will also be sold through iStore and Digicape, official Apple Premium Resellers (APRs).
"We are very pleased to be partnering with Opengate for our entry into this exciting market. This launch continues Blackhawk's global expansion and speaks volumes about future prospects of prepaid products in South Africa," said Jim Strabo, Managing Director EMEA, Blackhawk Network. "By combining our extensive network of global content brands with Opengate's distribution networks, we believe that the South African market will grow into a meaningful region for all of us."
"The partnership with Blackhawk Network enables Opengate to offer our distribution partners a growing array of world-leading brands from within the prepaid digital space, covering music, entertainment, gaming and online retail," said Anton Maybery, Chief Executive Officer, Opengate. "This launch of such a desirable prepaid brand is a watershed moment in the fast evolving local prepaid market. We're proud to be a part of this project, which has involved multiple distribution channels and further establishes Opengate as a leading distributor of prepaid products in the region, outside of airtime and utilities."
Blackhawk and Opengate intend to continue to work together to secure additional global brands for multi-channel distribution into South Africa.
About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) is a leading prepaid payment network that supports the physical and digital distribution of a large range of prepaid products. Blackhawk Network utilizes proprietary technology to provide consumers a wide selection of gift cards, prepaid telecom handsets, airtime cards and general purpose reloadable cards across a global network totaling over 100,000 stores. Through Blackhawk's digital platform, the company supports prepaid products and offers across a growing network of digital distribution partners including leading etailers, financial service providers, social apps, mobile wallets and other integrated physical-to-digital channels. Founded in 2001, Blackhawk Network is headquartered in Pleasanton, California, and offers products and services in the United States and 18 other countries. For more information please, visit www.blackhawknetwork.com and www.giftcardmall.com.
About Opengate Technologies
Opengate is a technology business focused on the development of physical and digital distribution networks for prepaid vouchers. Opengate is focused on providing major global content and Internet brands seamless access to multiple South African distribution channels to provide access to new consumer markets thereby growing revenue. The company has developed highly innovative technology to manage the distribution and activation process, and partners with a few global leading organizations, in an effort to remain a leading service provider within the South African markets.
Opengate was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. For more information please visit: www.opengate.co.za.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are indicated by words or phrases such as "guidance," "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," "plans," "continuing," "ongoing," and similar words or phrases and the negative of such words and phrases. Forward-looking statements are based on our current plans and expectations and involve risks and uncertainties which are, in many instances, beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in or contemplated or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include the following: our ability to implement national distribution in South Africa at expected levels; the consequences to our business should the anticipated growth of the South African prepaid market not materialize; our ability to secure additional global brands for the South African market; our ability to grow at historic rates or at all; the consequences should we lose one or more of our top distribution partners or fail to attract new distribution partners to our network or if the financial performance of our distribution partners' businesses decline; our reliance on our content providers, the demand for their products and our exclusivity arrangements with them; our reliance on relationships with card issuing banks; the consequences to our future growth if our distribution partners fail to actively and effectively promote our products and services; the requirement that we comply with applicable laws and regulations, including increasingly stringent money-laundering rules and regulations; risks related to our ongoing relationship with Safeway; and other risks and uncertainties described in our reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the registration statement filed in connection with our initial public offering and our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. We undertake no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect developments or information obtained after the date hereof and disclaim any obligation to do so other than as may be required by law.
Contact: MWW for Blackhawk Network: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Blackhawk Network