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Evolution Benefits Finalizes Merger With Lighthouse1

Avon-based Evolution Benefits Inc. said Monday it finalized its merger with Lighthouse1 of Minneapolis to form a company that serves 7 million customers.

The merger was first announced in April.

Evolution Benefits makes benefits cards used for paying out-of-pocket health insurance expenses. The best known of their products is the Benny Prepaid Benefits Card, which is a special-purpose MasterCard or Visa.

Evolution Benefits was acquired in July 2010 by San Francisco-based private equity firm Genstar Capital, which is financing the merger. Lighthouse1 also sells benefits cards and web-based platforms to manage healthcare benefits, health savings accounts and other ways to keep track of health-insurance expenses. Evolution Benefits had the better benefits cards on the market and Lighthouse1 had the better software, which makes the two companies complement each other, said Robert E. Patricelli, Evolution Benefits' founder and CEO.

The two companies combined will serve 50,000 employers and 400 health-plan administrators, health plans and financial institutions. Avon will remain the company headquarters.

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