Shares of Blackhawk Network Holdings Class B common stock are scheduled to start trading Tuesday on the Nasdaq Global Select Market following distribution by Safeway Monday of the Blackhawk shares it owned.


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The distribution follows the announcement last month that Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., will be acquired by AB Acquisition LLC.

Blackhawk is a prepaid gift-card network that supports the physical and digital distribution of a variety of products across a global network totaling more than 180,000 stores in the U.S. and 20 other countries.

Blackhawk, which originated as a division of Safeway in 2001, became a 100% publicly-traded company following Safeway’s action. Prior to the distribution Safeway had held 37.8 million shares of the Class B stock, or approximately 94.2% of the 2.6-million shares outstanding and 10,592 shares of the Class A stock, or approximately 71.9% of the total.

The stock distribution was made in the form of a pro-rata common stock dividend, with Safeway shareholders receiving 0.16 of a share of Blackhawk Class B for every share of Safeway common stock held as of the record date of April 3 and with Safeway paying cash in lieu of fractional shares of the stock.

According to Bill Tauscher, CEO of Blackhawk, “As an independent, publicly owned company, we believe Blackhawk has increased flexibility to pursue new growth strategies, meet the needs of our customers and create opportunities for our stockholders and employees.”

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