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KKR affiliate to buy First Data for $29B

First Data Corp. has entered into an agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in a transaction valued at approximately $29 billion.

The agreement was unanimously approved by the First Data board of directors based on the recommendation of the strategic review committee comprised of three independent directors.

First Data Corp., Greenwood Village, CO, provides e-commerce and payment services for businesses worldwide.

Serving 4.9 million merchant locations and 1,900 card issuers and their customers, First Data’s portfolio of services and solutions includes merchant transaction processing services; credit, debit, private-label, gift, payroll and other prepaid card offerings; fraud protection and authentication solutions; electronic check acceptance services through TeleCheck; as well as e-commerce and mobile payment solutions.

New York-based Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. is one of the world’s oldest and most experienced private equity firms specializing in management buyouts.

Under the agreement, First Data shareholders will receive $34 in cash for each share of First Data common stock they hold, representing a premium of approximately 26 percent over First Data’s closing share price of $26.90 on March 30. They also will receive a premium of approximately 34 percent over the average closing share price during the previous 30 trading days.

Completion of the transaction, which is subject to the approval of First Data shareholders, regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, is expected by the end of the third quarter of 2007.

Since its initial public offering in 1992, First Data has grown from $1.2 billion in annual revenue to $10.6 billion prior to the spin-off of Western Union and $7.1 billion post spin-off.

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