Financial-technology company Fidelity National Information Services Inc. plans to spin off its merchant business, the company announced Monday. FIS
which announced a “comprehensive assessment” of its business under its new management team in December, intends to maintain a commercial relationship with the Worldpay merchant business that it is spinning off. The move essentially reverses the Worldpay merger that FIS announced in early 2019.
FIS and peers Global Payments Inc.
and Fiserv Inc.
have been known as the “deal stocks” within the payments universe, as all three announced big mergers in the first half of 2019. FIS stock has been the weakest performer of the bunch since the time of the company’s $43 billion Worldpay acquisition announcement — a deal one analyst recently called “underwhelming.”
The spinoff of Worldpay is expected to be conducted in a tax-free manner and completed within 12 months, according to Monday’s release. FIS shareholders will receive a pro-rata distribution of shares in Worldpay, though the company has yet to determine the actual number of shares that will be distributed. “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 …