Title giants Stewart Information Services and Fidelity National Financial have called off their US$1.2 billion merger amid opposition from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claiming the deal would stifle competition.
The board of directors of Houston-based Stewart has agreed to move forward as a stand-alone company with new leadership to focus on growing revenue, according to an announcement Tuesday, September 10.
“While we were disappointed with the FTC’s decision regarding Stewart’s combination with Fidelity, we are well-positioned to execute on a standalone strategic plan built around growth and profitability,” Thomas Apel, Stewart’s chairman, said in the announcement. “The actions we have taken today are designed to enhance our strength, focus our company on the opportunities before us and build a leadership team with the best mix of experience and expertise to drive value creation.”
The termination triggers a US$50 million cash payment to Stewart from Jacksonville, Florida-based Fidelity National. The so-called reverse termination fee is customary in an acquisition when an acquiring company does not complete the deal. The payment will be made on or before September 16, Stewart stated.
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