A private equity firm, the Blackstone Group, has launched talks to possibly take over FIS, the card processor for the majority of the nation's card issuing credit unions.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets, Blackstone is the lead firm in a group that includes TPG and Thomas H Lee Partners LP in discussions with the processor, which the paper described to be at a "sensitive stage."
No one from FIS has yet returned calls for comment about the report or, if true, what it might mean for FIS' credit union clients.
FIS has a market capitalization of more than $10 billion. This would make the deal the largest since the credit crisis first hit three years ago, the paper reported. The paper also reported that six banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank AG, Barclays PLC, JP Morgan Chase and Credit Suisse are all involved in helping to finance the deal.
TPG and Thomas Lee Partners were both involved a previous attempt to buy the firm in 2004. Media reports said that Thomas H Lee still owned over 4% of the firm's stock.
If the deal were to go through it would not the first time a significant CU card processor moved back to private hands after having been a public company.FIS competitor First Data went through a similar deal in 2007.