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Austin Company NetSpend Acquired for $1.4 Billion

One of the largest public companies in Central Texas is changing hands. Austin-based NetSpend Holdings Inc. has agreed to be acquired by Total System Services (TSYS) for around $1.4 billion.

TSYS is a payment processing company based in Columbus, Georgia. It provides credit solutions to financial institutions, businesses, and governments in more than 80 countries.NetSpend employees around 500 people—more than 400 are based in the Austin area. It provides prepaid debit cards and related financial services to millions of people without traditional bank accounts. NetSpend's prepaid debit cards can be found at more than 62,000 locations, such as retailers, grocery stores, and convenience stores.

NetSpend shareholders are set to receive $16 per share in the acquisition. Shares closed Tuesday at $12.29.

TSYS is looking to expand its reach to the 68 million “unbanked” consumers in the United States, as well as NetSpend’s current account base of 2.4 million.

“With the strength and resources of TSYS, our opportunities our endless,”NetSpend CEO Dan Henry said.

Henry will now join the TSYS executive team.

The deal was announced Tuesday evening and will be completed by the midyear, as long as it gets regulatory approval.

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