S1 is out of one deal, still in a second deal

Contact: Brenon Daly

We now know that S1 Corp won’t be a buyer, but whether the financial software company is a seller remains an open question. Late last week, S1 scrapped its three-month-old plans to acquire Fundtech, pocketing an $11.9m breakup fee for its trouble. (That represents a not-insignificant windfall for a company that has only earned $2.2m so far this year, on a GAAP basis.)

Instead, Fundtech will be picked up by private equity firm GTCR in a deal that appears much more straightforward than S1’s original offer. For starters, GTCR is paying in cash, while S1 was planning on a mix of cash and stock. But maybe more importantly, there’s a fair amount of uncertainty hanging over S1 itself, as the company is still fending off an unsolicited acquisition offer.

A month after launching the bid for Fundtech, S1 received an offer of its own from ACI Worldwide. The two sides have been scrapping ever since. S1 has told its shareholders not to back ACI’s proposed bid, warning that there are ‘serious, unaddressed concerns’ such as antitrust challenges and ACI’s plan to raise some $450m in the credit market.

ACI looks to crash S1’s wedding

Contact: Brenon Daly

Just a month after announcing its largest-ever acquisition, S1 Corp has found itself unexpectedly (and perhaps unwelcomely) on the other end of a potential transaction. The payments software maker agreed in late June to acquire Fundtech in a stock swap valued at $326m. On Tuesday, ACI Worldwide sought to play the spoiler in that planned marriage, pitching an unsolicited offer to S1 that it says holds ‘significant upside’ compared to the proposed Fundtech deal.

ACI is offering $9.50 in cash and stock for each share of S1, for total consideration of $540m. The bear hug represents a premium of 33% over S1’s previous closing price and the highest price for the stock since late 2004. ACI says it has the financing lined up and could close the deal by the end of the year. Although S1 hasn’t responded to ACI’s proposal, its stock traded in line with the offer, changing hands on Tuesday afternoon at about $9.35.

In some ways, the current interest in S1 is about a half-decade overdue. We speculated in September 2006 that the company was likely on its way out. At that time, S1 was busy unwinding some misguided deals that it had inked years earlier as part of a larger ‘strategic review.’ (The divestitures came at a time when activist hedge fund Ramius Capital was the company’s largest shareholder.) Had it made its move then, ACI could have picked up the company on the cheap: S1 was trading at half the level of ACI’s current bid.

Preemptive consolidation in financial IT?

-Contact Thomas Rasmussen

With reports indicating that IBM has pulled its multibillion-dollar offer for Sun Microsystems, the second-largest deal of the year so far is the $2.9bn all-equity purchase of Metavante by Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) announced in early April. (Yesterday, Express Scripts announced that it will fork over $4.7bn for WellPoint’s NextRx subsidiaries.) In fact, we recently noted that the first quarter closed without a single transaction worth more than $1bn. It was the first time a quarter passed without a 10-digit deal since we began keeping records in January 2002. This transaction consolidates two active acquirers. Metavante and FIS have together inked more than 30 purchases over the past five years: FIS has completed 18 deals worth north of $7bn (excluding this pickup), while Metavante has closed 15 to the tune of about $1.4bn.

The combined FIS and Metavante will have revenue of $5.1bn, about $300m in cash after the transaction closes, and free cash flow of about $700m. However, though the management of the new company outlined its healthy cash flow as means for making further acquisitions, we don’t expect them to step immediately back into the market as the giants work on integrating the blockbuster deal. (We would note that both FIS and Metavante were out of the market in 2008.) Instead, we expect near-term consolidation to likely come from the firm’s two remaining large competitors Fiserv and First Data Corp, which Kohlberg Kravis Roberts took private for $30bn two years ago. Additionally, we could see Oracle and IBM using their vast cash reserves to buy their way into this sector. In fact, FIS and Metavante said in their conference call discussing their planned transaction that one of the reasons they were getting together was to stave off the expected competition from Oracle and Big Blue. So who might be of interest to any of these buyers? We suspect smaller players such as Jack Henry & Associates or even payments competitors TeleCommunication Systems and S1 Corp could well become targets.

Financial IT M&A by the now three largest buyers since 2002

Acquirer Number of deals Total deal value
FIS-Metavante 42 $12.7bn
First Data Corp 20 $9bn
Fiserv 28 $5.3bn

Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase