Cardtronics said this morning it has continued its acquisitions spree with a deal to acquire Cardpoint Limited, an operator of 7,100 ATMs in the U.K. and Germany for $153 million cash, representing the ATM giant's first foray into Continental Europe.

Cardpoint, which operates as Cashzone in the U.K. and as Cardpoint in Germany, introduces a new corporate identity for Cardtronics' European operations to be known as Cardtronics Europe, which will combine Cashzone, Cardpoint and the company's existing U.K. operations, known as Bank Machine.

"With this transformative acquisition of the Cashzone and Cardpoint ATM estates, Cardtronics establishes the foundation upon which to build a Cardtronics Europe scale business to complement our North American operations," said Steve Rathgaber, Cardtronics' CEO.

The deal follows recent Cardtronics' acquisitions of Aptus Group, LLC, a Portland, Oregon-based ATM operator of 3,300 merchant-owned ATMs; and Merrimak ATM Group, LLC, a Rohnert Park, California-based operator of 4,800 merchant-owned ATMs, giving the company ownership/management of more than 67,000 ATMs, the biggest fleet in the world. Earlier this year, Cardtronics also acquired of i-design group plc, a Scotland-based provider and developer of marketing and advertising software and services for ATM owners.

Cardtronics has become a critical electronic funds transfer switch for credit unions, with connections to CO-OP Financial Services, Credit Union 24 and hundreds of other credit unions through its surcharge-free Allpoint network subsidiary.

Cardtronics has been part of the ATM community in the U.K. since its 2005 acquisition of Bank Machine, which owns and operates 4,300 ATMs. Cardtronics also operates Green Team Services, an in-house armored courier provider; New Wave, its own ATM installation operation; and in-house maintenance and engineering teams.

By combining Bank Machine and Cashzone, Cardtronics Europe establishes a portfolio of 11,400 ATMs in the U.K. In Germany, Cardpoint operates 800 ATMs, which is the largest independent ATM portfolio in the country.