Fidelity National Financial to Split Into 2 Separate Publicly Traded Companies
April 27, 2006
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- The market granted immediate approval to the announcement of a corporate reshuffling at Fidelity National Financial Inc., sending shares up 17 percent Thursday.
Fidelity, a provider of insurance services such as claims and risk management, said Thursday it plans to spin off a bundle of its business operations into a separate publicly traded company. The company's board of directors formed a special committee to evaluate proposals for the restructuring, which entails eliminating the holding company and splitting its divisions into two corporations.
Under the proposal announced Thursday, the holding company will transfer its specialty insurance business and some other assets to its Fidelity National Title division and spin the subsidiary off to Fidelity shareholders as a public company. Fidelity will retain no ownership in the new company. Terms of the spinoff have not been set, but the holding company expects stock consideration in the range of $1 billion to $1.25 billion.
The parent company will then consolidate its remaining operations into its Fidelity National Information Services Inc. subsidiary, and eliminate the parent holding company. The transaction will leave two corporations: Fidelity National Information Service Inc., which will trade under the ticker FIS, and Fidelity National Financial, which will trade under the ticker FNF.
Shares of Fidelity rose $5.96, or 17 percent, to $40.95 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company's shares have traded in a range of $31.05 and $45.56 in the past year.
Fidelity Chief Executive William P. Foley said the company believes the market is undervaluing some of Fidelity's individual components. The company hopes the transaction will simplify Fidelity's assets for investors and eliminate the discount.
Foley will remain chairman and CEO at the new Fidelity National Financial, which will consist of the title insurance, specialty insurance and Sedgwick business lines. Fidelity National Financial will pay an annual dividend of $1.16, the company said. Lee Kennedy will continue serving as CEO of Fidelity National Information Services.
Bear, Stearns & Co. is advising on the transactions.
Coopyright 2006 Associated Press