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Fargo's Evolution1 acquired for $532.5 million

FARGO – Evolution1, a cloud-based technology and payment solutions company with headquarters here, has entered into an agreement to be acquired by WEX Inc. for $532.5 million.

It’s the type of deal that typically happens in Silicon Valley, said Tiffany Wirth, vice president of marketing for Evolution1, and could bring the company’s software and services to the global market more quickly.

All of the more than 130 employees located in Fargo will remain employed, said Todd Reynolds, chief technology officer. Evolution1, with 300 total employees, will also retain its offices in Minneapolis, Hartford, Conn., and St. Louis.

WEX, with headquarters in South Portland, Maine, is described as a leading provider of corporate payment solutions. It has an additional 10 offices in the U.S. and abroad and employs 1,400 associates. It started in fleet card payments in 1983, and now represents more than 7.8 million cardholders.

Evolution1 was founded in 2011 through a merger of Evolution Benefits Inc. and Lighthouse1 LLC. It administers reimbursement accounts, such as health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts, and with its network of partner organizations serves 90,000 employers nationwide. Its products and services are expected to remain unchanged.

The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors for both companies. It is subject to regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

Jeff Young, current chairman and CEO, will lead Evolution1, Reynolds said.

“We are excited to be joining the WEX team, as both companies are a great fit both culturally and operationally,” Young said in a statement.

Sherri Richards

Sherri Richards has worked for The Forum since 2002. She is the features and business editor, overseeing Variety, SheSays, Farmers' Forum, the daily Business pages and Saturday Business section.     Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to

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