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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Fiserv to buy CheckFree for $4.4bn

US financial IT firm Fiserv has signed a definitive agreement to acquire electronic banking and payments vendor CheckFree in an all-cash transaction worth approximately $4.4 billion.

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CheckFree sale dilutes risk of losing biggest customer

As discussed in this Finextra story from April CheckFree was facing the prospect of losing Bank of America as a customer of its payment processing business. BoA was, and still is as far as I can tell, looking to bring this function in-house and perhaps even start doing payment processing for other firms.

The client note by the JMP Securities analyst that bought this news public said that BoA accounted for about $170 million in revenues for CheckFree - about 20% of its total.

Since then, CheckFree has been busy bolstering its business outside payments processing to diversify revenue. The acquisition of Carreker added a consulting revenue stream and payments software to the CheckFree Software division, online banking software firm Corillion helped add diversity to the E-commerce Division, while Upstream Technologies added new tools to the CheckFree Investment Services division. 

But with profits falling recently, most industry reaction so far points to this being a good time for CheckFree to sell. J.P. Morgan Securities analyst Tien-tsin Huang points out to AP that the BoA revenue still at risk would only represent 4% of Fiserv's revenue. And this risk has likely been factored into the price Fiserv is paying.

It's interesting to note that Fiserv is in the middle of offloading its Investment Support Services division to  TD Ameritrade. But it will be gaining another somewhat similar business in the shape of CheckFree's Investment Services division.

With all the recent acquisitions and divestitures from both parties, I expect there is a certain amount of confusion among employees - particularly those that worked for Carreker, Corrillion or Upstream and were just getting used to the idea of working for CheckFree, only now to be told they've been snapped up by an even bigger fish.


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