Apollo Group in $2.3 billion deal for ATM maker Cardtronics

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A pair of investment firms agreed to shell out $2.3 billion for an ATM operator that’s benefiting from the wave of bank branch closures during the pandemic.

Cardtronics agreed to be acquired for $35 a share by Hudson Executive Capital and Apollo Global Management on Tuesday. The all-cash deal is expected to be completed in the first half of next year, according to a statement Tuesday.

Banks have shuttered almost 3,000 branches in the past 12 months, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Cardtronics has benefited from the trend by partnering with lenders looking to offer their customers access to cash even when a full-scale branch isn’t available.

Tuesday’s sale price was 35% higher than Cardtronics’ closing level on Dec. 8, the day before the company disclosed that Apollo and Hudson had proposed a deal at $31 a share.

“Cardtronics faces a secular headwind on the one hand — reduction of cash usage/ATM transactions — offset by a secular tailwind —
banks closing branches, making its convenient ATM locations more attractive,” Robert Napoli, an analyst at William Blair, said in a note to clients.

Cardtronics, with a network of 285,000 ATMs across 10 countries, operates 10% of the world’s ATMs, but handles only about 1% of withdrawals made from cash machines.

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