Several executives of the prepaid industry speculated last week at the Prepaid Card Expo in Las Vegas that an established player in the rapidly growing field soon would be ready to go public. That happened sooner than expected — on Friday Green Dot Corp. announced plans for an initial public offering that could raise as much as $150 million.

The move could put the Monrovia, Calif., prepaid card company in a good position to make acquisitions, said Gil Luria, an analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. "A lot of times when a market leader in an emerging category goes public, it's to see if they can use the capital they raise in the IPO to grow even faster."

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