Fiserv and First Data To Combine
Payment processors Fiserv and First Data Corporation will combine. The deal was announced on January 16th after their boards of directors unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which Fiserv will acquire First Data in an all-stock transaction. The transaction unites two premier companies to create one of the world’s leading payments and financial technology providers, and an enhanced value proposition for its clients.
Under the terms of the agreement, First Data shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 0.303 Fiserv shares for each share of First Data common stock they own, for an equity value of $22 billion. This represents $22.74 based on closing prices as of January 15, and a premium of 29% to the five-day volume weighted average price as of that date. Following the close of the transaction, Fiserv shareholders will own 57.5% of the combined company, and First Data shareholders will own 42.5%, on a fully diluted basis. The all-stock transaction is intended to be tax-free to First Data shareholders.
This highly complementary combination will offer leading technology capabilities that enable a range of payments and financial services, including account processing and digital banking solutions; card issuer processing and network services; e-commerce; integrated payments; and the Clover™ cloud-based point-of-sale solution. The combined company will offer comprehensive distribution channels and have deep expertise in partnering with financial institutions, merchants and billers of all sizes, as well as software developers.
“Through this transformative combination, we expect to redefine the manner in which people and institutions move money and information,” said Jeffery Yabuki, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fiserv. “We admire First Data for its excellence in merchant acquiring and global issuing services, and the tremendous progress they have made under Frank’s leadership. We expect this combination to catalyze and support an enhanced value proposition for our collective clients and their customers.” “I have long admired what Fiserv has achieved over the years, and I look forward to working with the talented associates of both companies as we set a higher standard of innovation and service in the industry,” said First Data Chairman and CEO Frank Bisignano. “Our goal at First Data has always been to provide our clients with the most comprehensive suite of innovative, highly-differentiated solutions and services, and I am excited by the significant value that the combination with Fiserv creates for all stakeholders.”
“We expect the combined company to retain our current investment-grade ratings based on our strong financial profile and excellent free cash flow. Together, this should provide the basis for continued disciplined capital allocation, including debt repayment and share repurchase,” said Yabuki. “We look forward to welcoming First Data’s talented associates to Fiserv as we drive the global digitization of payments and financial technology services.”
Compelling Strategic Benefits Differentiated Financial Services Platform: With an even more extensive range of end-to-end solutions, the combined company expects to create additional value for account processing clients and deepen relationships. Fiserv and First Data will link their respective merchant and cash management capabilities, further developing new offerings and providing First Data’s Clover cloud-based platforms for small and medium-sized businesses. For example, First Data’s digital merchant account enrollment capabilities can be integrated into Fiserv’s digital banking solutions that serve thousands of financial institutions.
Enhanced Payments Capabilities: The combination creates a differentiated, end-to-end payments platform from issuance to acceptance. Through an enhanced focus on innovation, the combined company will enable additional payment methods that give financial institutions, merchants and billers the ability to meet their customers’ needs across the multiple ways they want to pay.
Highly Complementary Products and Distribution Channels: The combined company will create additional value for Fiserv and First Data clients through an expanded universe of solutions. For example, Fiserv will be uniquely positioned to help financial institution clients more effectively meet the needs of business and commercial clients with offerings such as First Data’s Clover platform. First Data corporate clients will benefit through market-leading biller solutions from Fiserv.
Investing to Enrich Future Value Proposition: Fiserv and First Data will explore integrated, complementary technology capabilities and solutions to enhance client value and increase market differentiation. Following the close of the transaction, the combined company expects to invest an incremental $500 million over five years to create significantly enhanced solutions for clients and accelerate growth. The program will focus on a series of new and existing technologies, including next-generation merchant solutions, digital enablement, advanced risk management, and data-focused solutions to keep the combined company at the forefront of evolving client expectations and innovative payment methods.
Compelling Financial Benefits
Enhanced Revenue Growth Potential: The transaction is expected to generate at least $500 million of revenue synergies over a five year period. Incremental revenue growth is expected to come from a focus on delivering additional client value in areas such as bank merchant services and Clover, credit processing, additional biller services and network innovation.
Strong Adjusted Earnings Per Share Accretion: The transaction is expected to be accretive to adjusted EPS by more than 20 percent in the first full year following close. The combined company expects accretion of more than 40 percent to adjusted EPS at the full cost synergy run-rate. Significant Cash Flow Generation: The combined company expects to generate significant free cash flow exceeding $4 billion in the third year following close, including synergies. Fiserv intends to deploy its cash flow through the continuation of its proven and disciplined capital allocation strategy, and remains committed to retaining its investment grade debt ratings.
Substantial Cost Savings: The combination is expected to generate approximately $900 million of run-rate cost synergy savings over five years, driven primarily by the elimination of duplicative corporate structures, streamlined technology infrastructure, increased operational efficiencies, process improvements, and footprint optimization. These efficiencies will be achieved across the combined organization while maintaining its commitment to serving clients with excellence and innovation. Strong Financial Position: Fiserv intends to refinance the approximately $17 billion of debt that First Data is expected to have at the time of closing, and has entered into a committed bridge financing arrangement in connection with the transaction. Fiserv anticipates having a capital structure, balance sheet and capital allocation policy consistent with an investment grade credit rating. As such, Fiserv expects to utilize its strong free cash flow to reduce the company’s debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio to a level generally in line with Fiserv’s historical performance within 24 months after the transaction closes. Fiserv expects to retain its current investment grade ratings of Baa2 and BBB from Moody’s and S&P, respectively. Fiserv will also suspend share repurchases as of today until the close of the transaction to minimize debt at closing.
The combined company will be led by an experienced board and leadership team that leverages the strengths and capabilities of both companies. Upon closing, the board of the combined company will consist of 10 members, six of whom will be from the board of Fiserv and four of whom will be from the board of First Data. Upon closing, Jeffery Yabuki, current Fiserv President and Chief Executive Officer, will serve as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the board of directors of the combined company. Frank Bisignano, current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Data, will assume the role of President and Chief Operating Officer, and will serve as director of the board of the combined company. The combined entity will be known as Fiserv.
An affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., New Omaha Holdings L.P., which controls approximately 39% of the outstanding First Data common stock and 86% of the voting rights of First Data, has entered into a voting agreement in support of the transaction. Upon closing, New Omaha Holdings will own approximately 16% of the outstanding common stock of the combined company.
Timing and Approvals
The transaction, which is expected to close during the second half of 2019, is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, including the approval of shareholders of both companies. The transaction is not subject to any financing conditions.