First Data cuts 1700 jobs

First Data cuts 1700 jobs

US e-payments processor First Data is axing 1700 jobs - about six per cent of its global workforce - less than two months after it was bought out by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR).

First Data spokeswoman Nancy Etheredge told reporters that the cutbacks are designed to deal with "surplus staff" from recent acquisitions.

The highly-acquisitive firm has bought out a number of businesses during the past year, such as Brazilian payments processor Check Forte, Poland's Polcard and Irish outfit Deecal. It has also acquired US businesses Datawire Communication, FundsXpress and Intelligent Results during the past 12 months.

First Data started the year with a workforce of around 29,000 staff and aims to end 2007 with around the same number of employees.

Etheredge says the jobs cuts are expected to be completed by year end.

Around 300 jobs are expected to be axed at First Data's Omaha operations, although the company is also expected to move more operations to its Omaha data centres over the next 18 months under consolidation plans.

The job cuts are the first following the acquisition of the First Data business by private equity group KKR.

Earlier this week First Data reported a 73% drop in third quarter net income, largely due to after-tax costs of $208 million related to the KKR acquisition. The group's third quarter revenue increased 16% from the year ago period to $2.07 billion.

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