Rêv and Searchlight complete the acquisition of Netspend for $1 billion

Bertrand Sosa and Roy Sosa, Founders of Netspend
Bertrand Sosa and Roy Sosa, Founders of Netspend

International payments company Rêv Worldwide (Rêv), in partnership with funds advised by Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. (Searchlight), has completed its purchase of the Netspend consumer business from Global Payments in an all-cash transaction valued at $1 billion.

What is the market reach of Netspend?

Founded in 1999, Netspend has become a leader in prepaid debit cards, processed hundreds of billions of dollars of cardholder purchases, and launched the largest retail partner network comprising 100,000 locations where clients can load or purchase prepaid and debit cards.

Those locations span large grocers, financial service centers, convenience stores and pharmacies, among others. Netspend is the product and payments processing partner behind numerous well-known brands and offers its consumer products via mobile and web channels.

Together, Netspend and Rêv create an international payments powerhouse with an array of products and services and strategic partners which include ADIB, Banco Itaú, Correos (Spanish Post), and Etihad Airways. The combined companies are uniquely positioned to expand their current programs worldwide, and to drive growth across market segments.

The carve-out transaction sees Netspend come back under the control of its founders Roy Sosa and Bertrand Sosa, prepaid industry innovators who also founded Rêv. Netspend will remain a partner to Global Payments, supporting the company’s retained pay card business.

What does the acquisition mean for Rêv and Searchlight?

“This acquisition represents both a reunion and reimagining of the vision of financial empowerment we pioneered at Netspend more than 20 years ago,” said Roy Sosa, Rêv Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, who assumes the same role with Netspend.

“Netspend has a well-deserved reputation for creating and delivering innovative products tailored to fulfill the important needs of all its customers, from the underserved to the affluent. This transaction sets us up for strong future success and profitable growth.”

“From day one of Netspend’s founding we have been focused on helping customers gain access to payment products that simplify their lives and deliver real value. This acquisition allows us to continue building on our commitment to deliver financial empowerment to more people in more places by leveraging Netspend’s innovative  industry scale and Rêv’s tech platform and digital product innovations,” commented Rêv President, Bertrand Sosa.

Christopher Cruz, Partner at Searchlight, said, “The transaction allows Netspend to combine its market-leading position with Rêv’s geographic reach to offer an enhanced customer value proposition, introduce innovative products, and grow partnerships on a global scale. The combined company can uniquely serve the entire market with its differentiated distribution capabilities, including direct-to-consumer, partner-enabled, and digital partnership models.”