First Data Corp. said Tuesday that it has acquired the South African automated teller machine deployment company CashAxcess.

First Data, a Denver unit of the private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., has had operations in South Africa since 1993, but this is its first purchase there, George Zafirakis, First Data's vice president for international emerging markets, said in an interview Tuesday.

"We didn't own any other ATM deployments or business in South Africa, so automatically this deal opens up some new avenues for us," Zafirakis said. The companies did not disclose the price of the deal.

First Data's business in the region focuses on serving retailers, not banks. It has pursued some ATM servicing business, and Zafirakis said owning CashAxcess will make such deals easier to land. First Data is going after new business in South Africa and expects to have CashAxcess' technology fully integrated with its own by the end of the year.

CashAxcess has 200 ATMs and serves local banks such as Mercantile Bank Ltd., Capitec Bank, and Absa Group Ltd.

CashAxcess has operated in South Africa since 2005, and was previously jointly owned by Mvelaphanda Group Ltd. and Industrial Electronics Investment Ltd.

First Data's global ATM business operates networks in the United States, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Its deployment business is active in more than 17 countries, it said.

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