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Feb 26, 2014, 06.27 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

US-based Fiserv eyes Polaris; co denies sale

While initial talks were to buy only the services business, sources said that Fiserv is exploring options to buy the complete promoter stake in the firm, which can trigger an open offer.

Polaris  seems to be the new lass on the block being wooed by many suitors. After  Tech Mahindra and L&T Infotech reportedly pulled out of the race to buy Polaris's services business due to high valuations, sources told CNBC-TV18 that Nasdaq-listed Fiserv has been in talks with the promoters of Polaris to buyout the company, report Kritika Saxena and Nimesh Shah. While initial talks were to buy only the services business, sources said that Fiserv is exploring options to buy the complete promoter stake in the firm, which can trigger an open offer.

Also Read: HCL denies report Nadar plans to sell $10 billion stake

So far, sources have suggested that Fiserv is in the due diligence stage and is yet to decide on valuation contours. However, sources also said that if the deal does go through, Arun Jain, the chairman of the company, will be absorbed into the board of the company and will remain the head of the financial services business.

When contacted, a spokesperson from Fiserv said: “It is a long-time Fiserv policy not to comment on any specific scenarios that may or may not be under consideration.”
 
When contacted by CNBC-TV18, Polaris declined to comment. However, the company simultaneously released a statement to the stock exchanges denying the information. According to the statement: "During our 3rd Quarter results in January 2013, the Board of Directors authorized the Management Team to explore options that would provide an impetus to the company for the next stage of its growth. The context was around leveraging untapped potential in our growth engines i.e: services, products and the canvas of opportunities that are available to us as a leading specialist in the global financial technology arena. In line with stringent governance principles the company follows, stakeholders have been updated on  the progress. As announced, the major legs of the restructuring process have been completed last quarter in Q3, 2014. With its singular focus on banking and financial technology for over two decades, Polaris has built very robust and comprehensive assets to spearhead transformational projects for the BFSI vertical. The restructuring exercise has been misconstrued by a certain section of stakeholders with repeated mention of a possible sale.  Despite the company clarifications, these rumours continue to surface, impacting customer relationships, distracting management and employees. Polaris is not for sale. The company is poised to leverage its rich assets in banking and technology to accelerate growth of its two distinct businesses – products (intellect) business and IT services business."

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