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Basch Report
Jax Daily Record Monday, Apr. 16, 201806:30 AM EST

Martire retiring as FIS chairman

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CEO Gary Norcross will take over role.
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

Fidelity National Information Services Inc. disclosed last week in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Frank Martire is retiring as a director and chairman of the board.

Martire is a former CEO of the Jacksonville-based banking technology company known as FIS. He had been CEO of Metavante Technologies Inc. and joined FIS as its chief executive when it acquired Metavante in October 2009.

Martire retired as CEO on Jan. 1, 2015, and was succeeded by Gary Norcross.

Norcross will take over Martire’s role as chairman, in addition to serving as president and CEO.

In the SEC filing, FIS said the 70-year-old Martire’s retirement was based on a desire to pursue other interests.

The retirement takes effect after FIS’ upcoming annual shareholders meeting. The date of the meeting has not been announced.

FIS will report its first-quarter earnings May 1 and in a research note last week, Robert W. Baird analyst David Koning said he expects the results to be “okay,” with revenue and earnings in line with forecasts.

“We view FIS as a good risk/reward over the course of 2018, though don’t view the first quarter as a big catalyst,” Koning said.

Ceridian reveals terms of its IPO

In the continuing series of spinoffs from Fidelity National Financial Inc. (including FIS), Ceridian HCM Holding Inc. last week revealed details of its initial public offering.

Ceridian said in an SEC filing it plans to sell 21 million shares of stock at $19 to $21 each.

Ceridian, a Minneapolis-based human resources technology company with $751 million in revenue last year, was acquired in 2007 by a partnership of Fidelity and investment firm Thomas H. Lee Partners. 

The Ceridian stake became part of Fidelity’s investment subsidiary, which was spun off last year as a separate company called Cannae Holdings Inc.

Cannae owns 33.1 percent of Ceridian and THL owns 62.1 percent. After the IPO, THL’s stake will be reduced to 51.3 percent and Cannae will own 27.3 percent, according to last week’s filing.

Cannae is headquartered in Las Vegas but continues to be run by executives of Jacksonville-based Fidelity. Cannae announced in January that Ceridian was planning an IPO.

Ceridian’s IPO is expected to hit the market next week. The company’s stock will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CDAY.”

Ceridian will become one of a number of public companies that have been spun out of Fidelity over the past dozen years. FIS was spun off in 2006.

Sun Tire reportedly sold to Mavis

A New York-based chain of tire stores has acquired Jacksonville-based Sun Tire, according to reports by several tire industry news outlets.

Mavis Tire Supply Corp. acquired the nine Sun Tire outlets in Jacksonville and two in Tallahassee. The company has not decided if it will change the name of the Sun Tire stores, the reports said.

A Mavis spokesman did not respond to phone and email messages last week.

Mavis, based in Millwood, New York, operates 430 tire and service centers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Georgia and Florida.

Times-Union owner makes more deals

After acquiring The Florida Times-Union and 10 other daily newspapers from Morris Publishing Group last fall, New Media Investment Group Inc. is selling two Alaska newspapers it bought from Morris.

New Media, which has been buying up newspapers all over the country, announced last week it is purchasing the Akron Beacon Journal from Black Press Ltd. At the same time in a separate transaction, it is selling the former Morris papers in Juneau and Kenai, Alaska, to Black Press.

The deals with Black Press follow New Media’s agreement three weeks ago to expand its Florida network by acquiring The Palm Beach Post & Palm Beach Daily News for $49.25 million.

In addition to the Times-Union, New Media acquired The St. Augustine Record from Morris.

New Media’s cluster of 11 Florida newspapers (before the Palm Beach deal) also includes daily newspapers in Gainesville, Daytona Beach and Ocala.

Jacksonville loan company grows earnings

Shepherd’s Finance LLC, a Jacksonville-based commercial lending company, reported 2017 earnings rose 51 percent to $782,000.

The company said it had 168 construction loans to 52 borrowers in 16 states at year’s end, totaling about $30 million.

Atlanta firm buying Local Pet RX

According to an SEC filing, an Atlanta-based development-stage company called True Nature Holding Inc. agreed to buy Local Pet RX, a Jacksonville-based company that provides software and services to help pharmacies enter the veterinary marketplace.

True Nature Holding also said in the filing it appointed Local Pet RX founder Jay Morton as its president and interim CEO.

In its last financial report filed with the SEC, True Nature Holding reported no revenue for the first nine months of 2017 and said it intends to acquire businesses specializing in “compounding pharmacy activities, largely direct to consumers, and to doctors and veterinary professionals.”

True Nature Holding agreed to issue 500,000 restricted shares of its stock to buy Local Pet RX.

The stock, which trades on the OTCQB market under the ticker TNTY, was trading between about 7 cents and 10 cents last week.

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