Investor Lawsuit Challenges Planned Fiserv-First Data Merger

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A First Data Corp. shareholder filed a proposed class-action lawsuit Wednesday challenging the proposed acquisition of the payment processor by Fiserv Inc.

The $22 billion all-stock merger benefits First Data’s controlling shareholder, the investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., “to the detriment of the company’s noninsider stockholders,” says the complaint, according to the Law360 legal news service, a unit of LexisNexis.

Stockholder Alan Skulsky filed the suit in Delaware Chancery Court. His complaint alleges First Data chairman and chief executive Frank Bisignano and eight other board members “breached their fiduciary duties through an “unfair process and for an unfair price,” according to Law360. The suit claims KKR, which acquired First Data in a $29 billion leveraged buyout in 2007, dominated the process leading up to the merger announcement, and that the planned deal undervalues the company, the news service said.

A spokesperson for Atlanta-based First Data says the company doesn’t comment on litigation.

Fiserv has scheduled a special shareholder meeting for April 18 to approve the merger. First Data stockholders have until April 11 to inform the company of their consent or non-consent.