LONDON, Dec. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackhawk Network, Inc., a leading global prepaid payment network, today announced its first commercial agreement to address markets in Africa by bringing iTunes Gift Cards to South Africa through a partnership with Opengate, a subsidiary of Value + Nettwork, a leading distributor of third party gift cards.
For Blackhawk Network, the partnership with Opengate is indicative of the company's interest in emerging markets. It is expected that iTunes Gift Cards will be distributed nationally in more than 700 stores, across 10 leading retail chains, including the Walmart division Massmart and its three brands, Makro, Game and Dion Wired, as well as Pick n Pay, a leading supermarket chain, electronics retailer Incredible Connection and CNA. The cards will also be sold through iStore and Digicape, official Apple Premium Resellers (APRs).
"We are very pleased to be partnering with Opengate for our entry into this exciting market. This launch continues Blackhawk's global expansion and speaks volumes about future prospects of prepaid products in South Africa," said Jim Strabo, Managing Director EMEA, Blackhawk Network. "By combining our extensive network of global content brands with Opengate's distribution networks, we believe that the South African market will grow into a meaningful region for all of us."
"The partnership with Blackhawk Network enables Opengate to offer our distribution partners a growing array of world-leading brands from within the prepaid digital space, covering music, entertainment, gaming and online retail," said Anton Maybery, Chief Executive Officer, Opengate. "This launch of such a desirable prepaid brand is a watershed moment in the fast evolving local prepaid market. We're proud to be a part of this project, which has involved multiple distribution channels and further establishes Opengate as a leading distributor of prepaid products in the region, outside of airtime and utilities."Blackhawk and Opengate intend to continue to work together to secure additional global brands for multi-channel distribution into South Africa. About Blackhawk Network Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) is a leading prepaid payment network that supports the physical and digital distribution of a large range of prepaid products. Blackhawk Network utilizes proprietary technology to provide consumers a wide selection of gift cards, prepaid telecom handsets, airtime cards and general purpose reloadable cards across a global network totaling over 100,000 stores. Through Blackhawk's digital platform, the company supports prepaid products and offers across a growing network of digital distribution partners including leading etailers, financial service providers, social apps, mobile wallets and other integrated physical-to-digital channels. Founded in 2001, Blackhawk Network is headquartered in Pleasanton, California, and offers products and services in the United States and 18 other countries. For more information please, visit www.blackhawknetwork.com and www.giftcardmall.com. About Opengate Technologies Opengate is a technology business focused on the development of physical and digital distribution networks for prepaid vouchers. Opengate is focused on providing major global content and Internet brands seamless access to multiple South African distribution channels to provide access to new consumer markets thereby growing revenue. The company has developed highly innovative technology to manage the distribution and activation process, and partners with a few global leading organizations, in an effort to remain a leading service provider within the South African markets.