Litle & Co. Sold for $361M in Payments Processing Consolidation

Helping money change hands has always been a good business. Smooth out the bumps in e-commerce payments, and you’re on another level altogether.

That’s the driver behind today’s acquisition of Lowell, MA-based Litle & Co., a decade-old payments processing provider that counts some big names in e-commerce among its roster of clients. The company is being purchased by Cincinnati-based Vantiv (NASDAQ: VNTV) for $361 million.

Litle, founded in 2001, has seen its business grow pretty steeply as electronic payments take a bigger bite of consumer spending. It was actually ranked No. 1 overall on the Inc. 500 list of fast-growing companies back in 2006, and reported revenues of $200 million for 2009, the last figure I could find for its Inc. rankings.

Litle’s customer list is impressive in its breadth: The company touts relationships with such companies as GoDaddy.com, Overstock.com, Box, Gilt Groupe, Wayfair, and even King Arthur Flour.

Vantiv is a fairly big player in payment processing, reporting earnings of about $23 million in the second quarter on revenues of about $470 million. The firm also has ties to at least one other local payments company: Last week, Vantiv and Wellesley, MA-based Paydiant rolled out a mobile-wallet platform for merchants, financial institutions, and their customers.

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