WEX's revenue from processing travel payments through sites like
"We're trying to position ourselves as a company that tackles business-to-business payment needs and the first example was in fleets," said
So far, he said, the company's travel business has been the fastest growing, but its latest move signals big interest in other markets, too.
The company expects its cash-and-credit purchase of
Smith said projections for that market to increase more than twofold in five years were the "grounding thesis" of the decision to buy
"There's more and more of a move toward consumer-driven health plans," she said, referencing insurance plans like health savings accounts and health reimbursement accounts that covered about 9.7 percent of insured people in 2013, up slightly from 2012, according to a survey by the
Investors echoed confidence in the acquisition Tuesday, when shares rose 5.3 percent to
Analysts at credit rating agency Standard & Poor's, however, flagged the transaction as a potential cause for lowering the company's "BB" credit rating, noting that financing the deal with cash and a portion of its
In listing the company's rating and the latest deal as under review, S&P also noted WEX's plan to purchase
"A potential downgrade would reflect our view that the company's willingness to fund such a large acquisition with debt is aggressive," the ratings agency's notice stated. "On the other hand, from a business standpoint, we believe the acquisitions of
That brings the company to a total employee count of about 1,700, with more than 600 in
In an interview last week, before announcement of the latest purchase, Thomas said the benefit for
Smith said the company has an ongoing vetting process for potential acquisitions that it identifies each fall.
The company expects the purchase announced Monday, which is still subject to regulatory approval, will close in the third quarter of this year.
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