Magazine article American Banker

Jack Henry, after Good Quarter, Still on the Prowl for Acquisitions

Magazine article American Banker

Jack Henry, after Good Quarter, Still on the Prowl for Acquisitions

Article excerpt

Bank technology vendors have gotten pricey, Jack Henry & Associates Inc.'s chief executive says, but he intends to keep buying this year anyway.

Prices have risen, Jack F. Prim said, because some competitors "went on a shopping spree in the last 24 months." So did Jack Henry; it completed eight acquisitions in the past 12 months.

And though the Monette, Mo., core processing software and outsourcing vendor does not generally tell what it has paid, chief financial officer Kevin D. Williams said it spent $114 million on acquisitions last year.

He and Mr. Prim spoke Thursday during a conference call at which they also discussed the company's results, announced Wednesday, for the latest quarter.

Mr. Williams also disclosed, as the quarterly report did not, that Jack Henry had drawn $10 million in the quarter against a $25 million credit line, which it may try to increase. "We will leverage our balance sheet as we see fit if the right acquisition comes along," he said.

Mr. Prim said the spate of deals has helped the larger banking technology vendors fill gaps in their product lines and move into new markets.

Some smaller vendors still hope to sell themselves, he said. "This is either a good time for them to sell, or they may never be able to sell," he said. Prices "are still pretty good for them."

Competition for banks' business is stiff, Mr. Prim said, and "the players that are left are stronger."

"There are no slouches in the market that we're competing in," he said. …

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