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FIS to spin off merchant business

FIS to spin off merchant business

FIS has confirmed plans to pursue a tax-free spin-off of its Merchant Solutions business in a bid to unlock shareholder value.

New FIS chief executive Stephanie Ferris embarked on a reappraisal of the company's portfolio of assets as she took over the helm in December with a focus on "identifying and optimising incremental revenue generation, margin improvement and cost reduction opportunities".

The payment giant has already moved to cut hundreds of million of dollars in costs through the sacking of 2600 staffers, including 1000 contractors.

The review of FIS' business assets was conducted after hedge funds D.E. Shaw and Jana Partners pushed for ways to lift the company's valuation after seeing its shares tank by more than a third over the past year.

“In evaluating a broad range of alternatives as part of our previously announced comprehensive assessment of FIS’ strategy, businesses, operations, and structure, FIS management and the Board concluded that the spin-off of Worldpay will unlock shareholder value by improving both companies’ performance, enhancing client services, and simplifying operational management,” says Jeffrey Goldstein, chairman of the board. “We are confident that this is the right time for the separation of Worldpay. The pace of disruption in payments is rapidly accelerating, requiring increased investment in growth and a different capital allocation strategy for our Merchant Solutions business. This spin-off will create two industry-leading, publicly traded companies with sharper focus and increased agility, each well positioned to capitalize on the significant value creation opportunities ahead in their respective markets.”

The new unit will capitalise on the former Worldpay brand, which FIS acquired in 2019.

FIS' merchant operations account for 30% of total revenue, with core banking taking the lions share at 46% and capital markets making up the rest.

Wordlpay reported $4.8 billion of revenue and $2.3 billion of Adjusted Ebitda in 2022. The business’ revenue was comprised of 43% enterprise, 27% SMB, and 30% eCommerce in 2022.

The spin off is expected to take 12 months to complete and will be led by former Worldpay CEO Charles Drucker, who will return to the helm when the transaction is complete.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 14 February, 2023, 11:53Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I am always suspicious of spin offs done in the name of Shareholder Value. It tells me that there are other chickens coming home to roost.