Wright Express announced that it is acquiring FleetSmart, a fleet card program targeted at the distributor market, in a deal scheduled to close on August 16, 2002. According to the company, the acquisition will provide Wright Express LLC, a provider of fleet charge cards, with a fleet card entry into the distributor marketplace. "We are very excited about this acquisition," said Michael Dubyak, president and chief executive officer of Wright Express. "This provides us with a great product that we can make even more powerful and appealing by tapping our deep and long-standing fleet card experience and capitalizing on our position as the industry leader. Unquestionably, the fuel distributor market is a key market that we have targeted for growth because of the enormous potential we see there. And FleetSmart provides us with the base product and the tools to greatly accelerate our growth in this particular area. We have built our company by developing strong, long-standing private label partnerships with 28 oil companies, 30 fleet management companies, and acceptance of our universal product at over 160,000 locations. We now look to do the same with petroleum distributors and independent marketers who know their local and regional fleet markets." FleetSmart, a regional fleet card program that operated mainly in the South and Southwestern United States, provided both a private label and universal fleet card offering. Wright Express will rename the product from FleetSmart to FleetPro. According to Wright Express, a key part of the FleetSmart deal is the acquisition of a system that includes many product features preferred by the distributor market in providing fleet cards to their fleet customers. The FleetSmart system will provide Wright Express with a platform on which to base its expansion into the distributor fleet card market. Wright Express says it plans to take the FleetSmart program and enhance it's program by incorporating many of the features that is has developed for its universal card and private label customers. In this way, Wright Express claims it can offer everything from the base level program to a more comprehensive program based upon the needs of the customer. Wright Express plans to move aspects of the FleetSmart operation to both its South Portland, Maine headquarters and to its bank in Salt Lake City, Utah. Also as a result of the deal, Wright Express says it expects to add several jobs in the South Portland area. South Portland-based Wright Express is the provider of fleet charge cards to the fleet maintenance and fueling industry with its cards accepted at more than 160,000 locations. Wright Express also provides information management, payment processing, and financial services to fleets through card partnerships with oil companies and fleet management companies. Through its own universal fleet card program, its partners' card programs and its MasterCard program, Wright Express claims it has nearly four million commercial cards in its markets. Wright Express LLC, a subsidiary of Cendant Corp., employs more than 640 people at its headquarters in South Portland, Maine and its subsidiary in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, visit www.wrightexpress.com.
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