MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced today it has entered into an agreement to sell its Shareowner Services business to Equiniti Group plc for $227 million. Equiniti Group is the leading provider of share registration and associated investor services in the United Kingdom. Pending regulatory and Equiniti shareholder approvals, and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close by the end of Q1 2018.
“In joining Equiniti, our extremely talented team of US-based shareowner services professionals will be ideally positioned to continue to provide their current customers with products and services that best meet their needs, and support Equiniti’s growth plans for the future,” said Ed Blakey, head of Wells Fargo Commercial Capital. “We believe this sale will also allow us to continue to sharpen our focus on areas of our business that are essential for growth.”
Wells Fargo Shareowner Services (WFSS), a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., provides shareowner services in the U.S., including stock transfer agent, corporate action, and investment plan services to more than 1200 public and private companies across the U.S. Founded in 1929, and headquartered in Mendota Heights, MN, the business includes a seasoned team of professionals. As part of the transaction, more than 400 WFSS team members are expected to transition to Equiniti.
Equiniti is a London-based, publicly listed company [EQN.L] and a leading provider of sophisticated technology, administration, processing and payment services solutions. Equiniti is the U.K.’s leading provider of share registration and associated investor services, and also has market leading positions in administration of employee share plans, pension administration and software, and employee benefit plans.
“Joining the Equiniti team will be a great benefit to our clients and team members,” said Todd May, head of Wells Fargo Shareowner Services. “Our strong culture of keeping clients and team members at the heart of everything we do is synergistic with Equiniti’s culture. Equiniti’s sophisticated technology will ultimately empower our team members to offer enhanced services to clients and our client’s shareowners, while continuing to improve on our industry-leading servicing capabilities. Wells Fargo and Equiniti will work together to ensure a seamless transition.”
Wells Fargo Securities served as exclusive financial advisor to Wells Fargo, with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, & Katz serving as legal counsel. Annual operating results for WFSS are not material to Wells Fargo.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $2.0 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,500 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 273,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2017 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.
Equiniti is a specialist outsourcer delivering technology-enabled solutions to a wide range of organizations, including 70 percent of the companies in the FTSE 100. It is the UK’s leading provider of share registration and associated investor services, and also has market leading positions in the administration of employee share plans, pension administration and software, and employee benefit schemes. Equiniti's services, which are delivered by over 4,300 employees, benefit 28 million people in the UK and 120 countries around the world.
Cautionary Statement about Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements, including with respect to the proposed transaction with Equiniti. Because forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions regarding the future, they are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. Do not unduly rely on forward-looking statements as actual results could differ materially from expectations. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made, and we do not undertake to update them to reflect changes or events that occur after that date. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations include, without limitation, the risk that the sale of Wells Fargo Shareowner Services may not be consummated in a timely manner or at all, including as a result of a failure to satisfy a condition to closing (including regulatory or shareholder approvals); the risk that the anticipated benefits of the sale to us may not be realized as presently contemplated; and the risk that transaction-related costs may be greater than anticipated. For information about other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations, refer to our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the discussion under “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on its website at www.sec.gov.