Monday , January 25, 2021

Eye on BNPL: Affirm Acquires Rival PayBright And Alliance Data Finalizes Bread Acquisition

It’s a hot time for buy now, pay later companies, especially when buyers come around. Affirm Inc. is buying Canadian rival PayBright Inc. and Alliance Data Systems Corp. completed its acquisition of Bread, the brand ran by Lon Operations LLC.

Buy now, pay later specialist Affirm Inc. said it will acquire Canadian rival PayBright for $340 million (Canadian) in cash and equity ($265 million in U.S. dollars). Toronto-based PayBright, founded in 2009, counts Sail Outdoors Inc., Hudson’s Bay Co., Beautycounter, and Tuft& Needle among its merchants. Like many others in the BNPL market, PayBright offers interest-free installment purchasing split over four payments. It is not available for in-store purchasing, but a recent PayBright press release indicates that option may be coming.

“Partnering with Affirm gives us the opportunity to deliver on that promise on a much larger scale,” Wayne Pommen, PayBright president and chief executive, said in a press release. “Affirm’s network, focus on trust and transparency, and industry-leading technology make it the ideal partner for PayBright. As part of a larger, multinational organization, we can help even more merchants attract new customers and provide a greater number of consumers with more control and flexibility in their purchasing decisions.”

San Francisco-based Affirm is preparing to go public. The 8-year-old company filed a Form S-1 registration statement in November with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. One of Affirm’s founders, Max Levchin, was among the founders of PayPal Holdings Inc. in 1998.

In related news, Columbus, Ohio-based Alliance Data Systems Corp. completed its acquisition of digital payments provider Lon Inc., which operates under the name Bread. It offers buy now, pay later payments as one of its services. The companies came to terms on Oct. 28 in a deal calling for cash and 1.9 million shares of Alliance Data stock. Total deal value is $450 million.

Bread will maintain its customer care center and continue supporting its more than 400 clients from its former New York City headquarters. 

“Bread’s innovative platform and point-of-sale technologies, including installment and buy now, pay later solutions, expands our payment offerings and reinforces Alliance Data’s commitment to investing in digital and technology solutions,” said Ralph Andretta, Alliance Data president and chief executive, in a statement.

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