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Heartland Files for IPO

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc., one of the largest bankcard acquirers in the United States, on Aug. 10, 2004 filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering (IPO) of its common stock.

Heartland did not indicate in a regulatory document how many shares will be offered or estimate the price of the IPO, information that is typically disclosed at a later date, but the stock offering could be valued at up to $75 million. The company has applied to list its shares on Nasdaq under the symbol "HPAY." Founded in July 1997, with a business investment of $1 million, Heartland has grown to become one of the largest privately owned payment processors, servicing a portfolio of $22.5 billion of annual volume. The company provides credit and debit card, payroll and related processing services to restaurant, hotel and retail merchants throughout the country.

In the GSQ 2003 Acquirers Report (December 2003, Vol. 6, No. 4), Heartland ranked 12th among billion dollar credit card acquirers (according to estimates, the company processed 217 million credit transactions in 2003). It was also one of the top 10 online (PIN) debit acquirers for 2003, placing ninth on the list with a total volume of 6.6 million transactions in 2002.

According to a Reuters report, Heartland's net revenue increased to $111.9 million for the quarter ending March 31, 2004, up from $76.8 million a year before. The company said the proceeds from the IPO could be used to repay $2.9 million of debt, redeem warrants to buy 1 million shares of common stock and for general corporate purposes. Heartland stated in documents it will not receive any proceeds from the sales of shares by holders.

Based in Princeton, N.J., Heartland said it currently provides services to more than 70,000 merchants with over 700 sales representatives, and it has more than 350 employees in operations, information technology, marketing, administration and management positions.

Heartland was named to Inc. magazine's 500 List of America's fastest growing private companies for 2003 based on financial growth rates over the previous five years. Heartland was also ranked 7th in the same publication's Top 25 Companies By Size category; Inc. published the lists in October 2003.

Prospectuses for the IPO are not yet available.

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