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Starboard Value buys stake in debit card company Green Dot

American hedge fund Starboard Value has acquired a 9.3% stake in Green Dot, a financial firm known for issuing prepaid cards in the US.

In a regulatory filing, the New York-based hedge fund said that it is mulling to bring operational changes in order to improve the performance of Green Dot.

Green Dot’s stock plummeted last year due to an onslaught of competition from a new generation of financial technology ventures.

Green Dot in a statement said: “Green Dot’s board of directors welcomes transparent, constructive feedback regarding the common goal of enhancing long-term shareholder value.

“The company appreciates all shareholder relationships, and will remain focused on executing its business strategy and maximising value for all shareholders.”

Selling prepaid debit cards is the core business of Green Dot. Its prepaid cards can be loaded at stores by customers who may not have a traditional banking relationship.

The company’s prepaid cards are available at over 100,000 retailers across the US, including retail giant Walmart.

The company has been posting weak financial recently. It lost $530,000 on operating revenue of $240 million in the quarter of 2019 that ended on 30 September. The company reported a profit of $4.6m on operating revenue of $231m in the third quarter of 2018.

Last month, Green Dot announced the retirement of its CEO and founder Steve Streit.

In March 2017, Green Dot, which issues MasterCard and Visa-branded cards in the US, wrapped up the acquisition of UniRush for $147m.

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