H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) today announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Wave Financial, Inc. (“Wave”), a rapidly-growing financial solutions platform focused on changing the way small business owners manage their finances, for $405 million in cash. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Wave is innovating and disrupting the small business market with free accounting, invoicing, and receipt-tracking software. Wave generates revenue by offering payment processing, payroll services, and bookkeeping services, with additional products currently in development. All of these products and services are offered through a comprehensive platform used by over 400,000 small businesses globally every month.
“I’m extremely excited to welcome Wave, an innovative company with an outstanding team, to H&R Block,” said Jeff Jones, president and CEO of H&R Block. “Bookkeeping and cash flow management are significant pain points for small business owners and essential to successful annual tax preparation. Wave addresses these concerns by delivering financial solutions and a simple user experience on a single platform. Wave provides us the opportunity to accelerate our small business strategy and is a great strategic fit, as both companies can leverage each other’s capabilities to bring tax and financial solutions to small business owners, serving more clients in more ways.”
The acquisition expands H&R Block’s product and client portfolio and enhances its position in the small business market. It also provides new growth opportunities as Wave’s disruptive pricing and low-cost customer acquisition model has resulted in rapid, organic growth.
“Given the complementary strengths of these two great companies and our shared vision of providing financial help to people who need it, we’re delighted to be joining the H&R Block team,” said Kirk Simpson, co-founder and CEO of Wave. “We are excited to work together to deliver additional value to small businesses to help them succeed.”
Wave’s innovative platform supports the large and expanding small business market, which includes 31 million small businesses in North America and more than 100,000 new businesses created every month. Additionally, approximately 57 million U.S. workers are freelancers, a number that is expected to grow to roughly 87 million by 2027, representing over half of the U.S. workforce.
Under the terms of the agreement, H&R Block will acquire all outstanding shares of Wave for $405 million, funded with available cash.
The transaction is expected to close within the next few months, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. Based on the expected timing of closing, H&R Block estimates that the transaction will generate $40 to $45 million of revenue for fiscal 2020. The financial impact of this transaction is subject to the timing of the actual close of the transaction.
Following the closing of the transaction, Wave will maintain its leadership team, including Kirk Simpson, operating independently within H&R Block from its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario.