Navigation Capital Partners’ Brightwell Acquires Directo

Atlanta-based Navigation Capital Partners‘ portfolio company Brightwell Payments, a payments company offering comprehensive prepaid card solutions for corporations and consumers, has acquired Directo. Based in Atlanta, Directo is a provider of paycard programs.

PRESS RELEASE

Navigation Capital Partners, Inc. (NCP), an Atlanta-based lower middle market private equity firm, announced that its portfolio company Brightwell Payments, Inc. (Brightwell), a payments company offering comprehensive prepaid card solutions for corporations and consumers, has acquired Directo, Inc. (Directo), a provider of paycard programs.

Directo, based in Atlanta, provides paycard solutions serving consumers within the domestic payroll space. Directo provides its programs to a wide range of customers and distribution partners primarily consisting of financial institutions, professional employment organizations, staffing firms, agricultural businesses, and payroll providers.

“Directo is an excellent addition that brings a large base of corporate clients,” said Larry Mock, managing partner of NCP and board member of Brightwell. “The acquisition of Directo advances Brightwell’s penetration in the attractive, high growth domestic payroll market and builds onto this segment of the company’s business.”

In addition to domestic and international paycards, Brightwell provides a comprehensive array of disposable and reloadable prepaid card payment solutions including general purpose reloadable cards, and loyalty, award, and promotional card programs. Brightwell also provides marketing, design, distribution and fulfillment services in support of its products.

“There are clear business synergies that will be achieved through the acquisition of Directo. Directo’s product line can be easily integrated, and will provide a stable, recurring customer base, new distribution channels and niche market opportunities,” said Kenneth M. Goins, Jr., CEO of Brightwell and former member of NCP’s Executive-In-Residence program. “We’ll be able to drive scale by leveraging our existing infrastructure and adding our feature-rich functionality to the Directo product suite. We expect the integration to be quick and efficient, and the benefits of this acquisition to be seen almost immediately.”

Jim McCarthy, CEO of Directo, and other key employees of Directo will remain with the company, enhancing the Brightwell team with additional experience in the domestic paycard space as it continues to focus on this segment. Moreover, Directo clients and distribution partners benefit from their continued relationship with the Directo staff and Brightwell’s expanded capabilities.

“Directo represents an excellent fit for our growth strategy of identifying complementary strategic acquisitions in niche vertical markets,” said Mark Downs, partner of NCP and board member of Brightwell. “By integrating resources, the combined business will generate substantial cost and operational synergies and enhance the company’s focus on the domestic payroll market, which should provide for significant organic growth opportunities.”

About Navigation Capital Partners

Navigation Capital Partners, Inc. (NCP), based in Atlanta, is a private equity firm making control growth equity and buyout investments in lower middle market, niche business services companies. With over 195 years of combined experience, NCP’s seasoned principals and operating partners support portfolio companies in making financial, operational and strategic decisions and guide companies through today’s economy. NCP currently manages approximately $320 million of invested and committed capital.

About Brightwell Payments

Brightwell Payments, Inc. (Brightwell), is a payments company offering comprehensive prepaid solutions for corporations and consumers both domestically and internationally. Its services include program design, marketing, technology, distribution and fulfillment services for a comprehensive array of prepaid products including general purpose reloadable cards, loyalty, award and promotional cards, and domestic and international paycards including its award winning OceanPay® maritime paycard product. Brightwell’s headquarters are in Atlanta with satellite offices in Chicago, Milwaukee and Miami.

About Directo

Directo, Inc., founded in 1998 and based in Atlanta, provides domestic paycard programs to corporate clients consisting of financial institutions, professional employment organizations, staffing firms, agricultural businesses and payroll providers.