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    Tom Thumb, Other Kroger Banners Add Cardtronics ATMs

    The ATM provider also buys LocatorSearch to accelerate efforts to influence ATM user behavior before the transaction.

    CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. is building upon its existing agreement with Cardtronics Inc., adding 350 ATMs to its Tom Thumb convenience stores in Florida and Alabama, plus Ralphs, Food 4 Less and Foods Co. grocery stores in California and Nevada.

    As the largest single provider of ATM services to the Kroger family of stores, Cardtronics now manages ATMs in more than 1,150 Kroger-owned convenience and grocery stores, with that total spread across 32 states and 13 of Kroger Co.'s local banner names.

    "With Cardtronics' size, scale and coast-to-coast service coverage, we've made it logistically and financially prudent for Kroger to consolidate multiple ATM service provider relationships with us," said Rick Updyke, president, U.S. Business Group, Cardtronics.

    In related news, Cardtronics' subsidiary, Houston-based Cardtronics USA Inc., has acquired LocatorSearch LLC, a provider of location search technology deployed by financial institutions to help customers and members find the nearest, most appropriate and convenient location based on the service they seek. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

    The acquisition of LocatorSearch, founded in 2004 and based in New York, brings in-house a technology deployed by Cardtronics and Allpoint Network since 2006 to power both Web-based and smartphone app ATM locators. Included in its LocatorSearch transaction, Cardtronics has acquired more than 400 contractual relationships with banks, credit unions and financial services channel partners, as well as LocatorSearch's proprietary location search technology, capable of delivering results across Web, mobile Web, smartphone app and automated customer service platforms.

    "The acquisition of LocatorSearch accelerates Cardtronics' efforts to influence ATM user behavior before the transaction," Steve Rathgaber, CEO for Cardtronics, said in a statement.

    LocatorSearch aggregates location information for brick-and-mortar branch locations, as well as all the surcharge-free ATMs, regardless of ownership or network, that a bank or credit union makes available to its customers and members.

    Karl Kraus and Purvesh Patel, the founders of LocatorSearch and developers of its proprietary technology, joined Cardtronics as part of the transaction.

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