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Web payment company goes on shopping spree

In a move to expand its online billing and banking services, Bottomline Technologies agrees to buy Checkpoint Holdings in a deal worth $78 million.

Web payment company Bottomline Technologies today said it has agreed to buy Checkpoint Holdings in a deal worth $78 million.

Bottomline, an 11-year-old company that provides online billing and payment services for the business-to-business market, also agreed to buy Flashpoint, a Boston Web-based software development company. That deal is worth about $12 million in cash and stock.

In buying Checkpoint, Bottomline said it plans to fuel international expansion through Checkpoint's more than 3,000 customers in the United Kingdom. Among Checkpoint's customers are British Telecom, American Express and Deutsche Bank. The deal also allows Checkpoint to broaden its services with electronic billing and payment and online banking.

Dan McGurl Portsmouth, N.H.-based Bottomline will pay $15 million in cash and $20 million in the form of a promissory note for Checkpoint. It will also issue about 1.35 million new shares of common stock and a warrant to purchase 100,000 shares at $50 each.

European venture capital firm Mercury Private Equity is selling Reading, England-based Checkpoint.

"We began this fiscal year with the objectives of international expansion and increased capacity for product development; these two acquisitions are significant steps to accomplishing these goals," Bottomline president Dan McGurl said in a statement.

Bottomline said it hopes to bolster its software development efforts through its acquisition of Flashpoint, which has helped develop some of its Web-based products.

Bottomline will pay $4.5 million in cash and $7.5 million in stock to acquire Flashpoint. The company will assume all of Flashpoint's outstanding stock options and said it does not expect to record revenues from Flashpoint for fiscal year 2001.