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“He was the future once.” — David Cameron1
If ever there was a company that’s been bounced around, it’s Worldpay. The company traces its history back 25 years and in that time its ownership has shifted from founders, to big banks NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland, to private equity firms, to public markets – first in the UK and then, following a merger, in the US – to bank technology company Fidelity National Information Services (FIS). Now, just over three years after buying it, FIS has announced that it’s returning Worldpay to public markets via a spin-off.
It’s fair to say that FIS didn’t capture much value from Worldpay during its ownership stint. Having bought it for $33.5 billion in July 2019, the company was forced to take a $17.6 billion impairment charge on its investment with its 2022 accounts. Management bemoans “changing market dynamics” but while the pace may have changed, the dynamics themselves haven’t. Over the past three years, Worldpay merchant transaction volumes have…