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First Cash buys 24-store U.S. pawn chain

 Arlington-based First Cash Financial Services, which has focused most of its recent growth in Mexico, said Monday it acquired 24 pawn stores in a deal worth $25.5 million. The stores are in Colorado (13), Kentucky (7), Wyoming (3) and Nebraska (1). First Cash described them as "all large-format, full-service pawn stores operating under the Mister Money brand."

CEO Rick Wessel in a prepared release called it "an important strategic transaction that significantly expands our store base and geographic presence in the U.S. The acquisition represents a 17% increase in the number of our large format U.S. stores and expands our domestic footprint from eight to a total of 12 states." Mister Money has an established presence and customer base in each of the respective markets. The stores' results were consolidated into First Cash on June 15, the deal's closing date.

-- Jim Fuquay



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