Ceridian to Go Private in Acquisition

Human resources outsourcer Ceridian Corp., under pressure from an activist hedge fund, agreed to be bought by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners and Fidelity National Financial Inc.
Ceridian said in a statement that it had conducted a “comprehensive review process” in which it evaluated a “number of strategic alternatives available” including options related to Comdata.
Ceridian had been battling with Pershing Square Capital Management, a hedge fund and major shareholder, which wanted the company to spin off its Comdata division and replace its board. Last month the firm announced that it fired the President of its Comdata division on allegations that he held unauthorized meetings and disclosed confidential information to Pershing over a possible Comdata spinoff.
Minneapolis-based Ceridian’s main human resources outsourcing division offers payroll, benefits administration, and other services to companies. Comdata offers payment processing and is an issuer of credit cards and debit cards. Its serves 25 million employees and 110,000 companies in 38 countries worldwide, including a majority of the Fortune 500. Ceridian’s Comdata division is a major payment processor and issuer of credit, debit and stored value cards, primarily for the trucking and retail industries in the U.S.
Last year, the Newport Group agreed to buy a major part of Ceridian’s Retirement Plan Services recordkeeping and administration business.
As part of the deal, Ceridian shareholders will get $36 in cash, about 17% more than the stock’s closing price on February 12th of this year, just before the company announced it was pursuing strategic alternatives to maximize shareholders’ value.
The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.