SafeCard Services Inc., the credit card registration and marketing company, is continuing its expansion with the acquisition of a retail travel package marketer.
SafeCard's latest addition, National Leisure Group of Boston, markets vacation packages and related services to consumers through retailers or credit providers such as Citicorp's Citibank, the General Motors and GE Rewards MasterCard programs, Vacation Outlet, Filene's Basement, and BJ's Travel Club.
Terms of the acquisition include $14.5 million in cash at closing and up to $5.5 million later, based on performance and contractual agreements.
"National Leisure Group operates in a very profitable niche in the travel business," said SafeCard chairman Paul G. Kahn, who since arriving in late 1993 has worked feverishly to recast the company as a diversified marketing partner of its credit-issuing customers.
National Leisure Group's bookings in 1994 are expected to exceed $93 million, a 35% increase from 1993. It competes with companies like Liberty Travel and American Express Travel Services.
"It's a neat little company," said Mr. Kahn. "We can leverage our distribution network and help it grow with our 150 card company partners."
National Leisure will remain in Boston, headed by president Joel Cutler, and will operate as a separate SafeCard business unit.
Mr. Kahn said he would use the partnership to enhance one of SafeCard's other strategic thrusts - cobranding. Travel packages will be offered to customers of the Professional Golfers Association Tour Partners MasterCard, issued by SunTrust Banks Inc.
National Leisure's co-founder, David Fialkow, who will continue as a consultant, said the travel company had worked with Mr. Kahn when he was president of AT&T Universal Bank and admired his leadership.
"His vision and focus on service was very important to us - to (help) grow our business into a larger, more service-oriented provider, leveraging SafeCard's innovations in technology, real-time recovery, front-line employee empowerment, and total quality management."