H&R Block to buy TaxACT maker 2SS Holdings for $288 million

(BestGrowthStock) – H&R Block Inc (HRB.N: ), the largest U.S. tax preparer, agreed to acquire 2SS Holdings Inc, developer of TaxACT digital tax preparation business, for $287.5 million in cash, to enhance its “do-it-yourself” tax preparation digital offerings .

H&R Block, which said it would fund the transaction with cash on hand or short-term borrowings, estimates the acquisition will add 5 cents to earnings per share in the fiscal year ending April 30, 2011, if it closes by the end of the calendar year.

The company’s online tax-preparation services, H&R Block At Home software, competes with Intuit Inc’s (INTU.O: ) TurboTax software, which is gaining market share from H&R and No. 2 player Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc (JTX.N: ) as more people move to “do-it-yourself” models

The Kansas City, Missouri-based company plans to combine its H&R Block At Home digital business and the acquired TaxACT business into a single unit led by the TaxACT management team, but said it would continue to offer both brands in the market.

Shares of H&R Block closed at $13.69 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Brenton Cordeiro in Bangalore)

H&R Block to buy TaxACT maker 2SS Holdings for $288 million