It’s taken seven years, but a buyout bid, which had been unsuccessful and considered a dud in the eyes of many analysts, is finally making a comeback as one of the top business stories of the new year.
First Data Corp. recently reported its first profit in seven years, which is huge news to the company that might see itself being able to have a public offering as soon as this year. Considered by many to be one of the more troubled buyouts within the last ten years, First Data was initially acquired by KKR & Co for $26 billion. KKR, founded in 1976 by Henry R. Kravis and George R. Roberts, the company’s current co-chairmen and co-CEOs, purchased the Atlanta-based company back in 2007.
In 2014, KKR put $1.2 billion into First Data, with the private-equity firm having its First Data investment mark at above cost for the first time since its initial purchase.
Even when KKR won the buyout bid, First Data at the time was in trouble. However with the company’s recent net income of $12 million for its fourth quarter, its revenue rose 3% to $2.9 billion. This has been hailed as an achievement from its Chief Executive Frank Bisignano, who has been the head of First Data for nearly two years. Bisignano was formerly an executive head of J.P Morgan Chase & Co. and Citi Group Inc. With his employment with First Data, he took great steps to hire new executive—primarily from his previous employers.
Said Bisignano, “We put a lot of money into all our businesses and we are beginning to see the customer momentum and business momentum that we expected.”
While great news for the company, Bisignano declined to comment on the prospect for an IPO. However many have projected that the company could be one of the biggest stock offerings of the year if it comes to fruition.