Blackhawk, a prepaid and payments network, recently announced its acquisition of Grass Roots Group, a leading provider of employee and customer engagement services.

Clever combinations of technology, distribution, prepaid and payments expertise, as well as deep customer insights have enabled Blackhawk Network to build a globally enviable business.

The acquisition is expected to allow Grass Roots to offer new products and capabilities to its current clients, as well as take advantage of Blackhawk’s global network to broaden Grass Roots’ international reach.

Founded in the UK in 1980, the Grass Roots Group has 12 offices throughout the world and provides services in over 100 countries, with over 20,000 clients.

This acquisition is expected to be an opportunity for Blackhawk to extend its global footprint by offering global reward and incentive products to its clients through Grass Roots’ leading employee and customer engagement solutions. This acquisition also adds an important element to Blackhawk’s portfolio by allowing Blackhawk to tap into Grass Roots’ expertise in meetings and events management.

Managing Director UK & Europe, Jonathan Kenny has played a key role in Blackhawk’s growth strategy and expanding product and solution portfolio.

Kenny is a force of nature with an entrepreneurial spirit gained from setting up a number of successful businesses. He has an enviable track record in spotting, growing and acquiring businesses. Having been instrumental in over 15 corporate buy and sell transactions over the last five years with four successful exits. Including DIDIX Gifting & Promotions (owner of restaurant loyalty scheme Tastecard), which was set up by Jonathan and also acquired by Blackhawk.

Jonathan said ‘Blackhawk is all about distributing prepaid branded value into people’s hands – initially on behalf of consumer brands but latterly in terms of employee engagement.  In looking to grow the latter aspect of the business we have been looking for a partner to acquire and Grass Roots is a premier name with a great, innovative products such as the Cyclescheme and many thousands of users.  However, it was more than that – there was also an incredible synergy between the two companies – we share the same values and vision and that is incredibly important.’

He added what we have acquired is a vast retail and B2B network, along with an extensive employee benefits product portfolio which help companies to offer far more than catalogues and clocks to their staff as a means of truly engaging and motivating them.