This story was written by Joseph Weisenthal.
Deluxe, yes, the Deluxe that prints old fashioned paper checks, wants to get in the social networking game: This evening it announced the acquisition of PartnerUp, a business networking site. The site offers itself as a place to find business partners, get advice, and obtain various services. LinkedIn obviously comes to mind as the big one in this area. So what's the idea? There's no obvious connection, the Deluxe wants to transform itself into a provider of various services for businesses, and this is a piece in the puzzle (it's also buying Hostopia.com, which helps small businesses get on the web). Basically, Deluxe's business of checks (and other related stationary) is in a long-term secular decline. Rather than ride it out and return cash to shareholders, which would be boring and predictable, it wants to grow and get in on something hot. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Release.
By Joseph Weisenthal