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FIS agrees sale of majority stake in Worldpay at $18.5bn valuation

FIS agrees sale of majority stake in Worldpay at $18.5bn valuation

FIS has agreed to sell 45% of its Worldpay Merchant Solutions business to private equity funds managed by GTCR in a transaction valuing the unit at $18.5 billion.

The valuation includes $1 billion of consideration contingent on the returns realised by GTCR exceeding certain thresholds.

FIS had planned to spin off Worldpay as part of a reappraisal of the company's portfolio of assets by new chief executive Stephanie Ferris. But earlier this week it emerged that the fintech giant had changed tack and was looking to offload a majority stake.

FIS says the "attractive" upfront valuation of the GTCR deal equates to a 9.8-times multiple on expected fiscal 2023 adjusted EBITDA, including estimated dis-synergies and previously unallocated corporate and other costs.

The firm will get upfront, net proceeds of approximately $11.7 billion while retaining a non-controlling 45% ownership interest in a new standalone joint venture.

The move will ensure "operational simplification" at both FIS and Worldpay, says a statement, as well as enable FIS to pay down debt and return capital to shareholders.

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

Ferris's 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.

Says Ferris: "This transaction allows FIS to partially monetize our Merchant Solutions business at an attractive valuation and provides certainty for all stakeholders. It also allows us to simplify and drive greater focus on delivering innovative, next-generation financial technology and software solutions."

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