SunGard understands that Wall Street likes a pure play -- it makes it easier for research analysts to value and to understand the story. So yesterday SunGard gave Wall Street what it wanted by announcing a spinoff. The stock was up 10.57% to $27.00 on the news.
Interestingly enough, SunGard started as a combination of two unrelated companies, and in 1983 there was a leveraged buyout. Since then, both divisions have remained separate in terms of sales forces, customers, and strategies.
First, there is the software and processing division, which caters to financial services and education. The division generated about $1.8 billion in revenues and $324 million in operating income last year.
The other division is availability services. It posted revenues of $1.2 billion and operating income of $340 billion for last year. The firm helps with sophisticated integration of security, hosting, storage, disaster recovery, and contingency planning.
The spinoff is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2005, and shares in the availability services division will be distributed, tax-free, to current shareholders.
The transaction will lead to more focus, which is critical as the company deals with its diverse competitors: IBM
On the conference call, an analyst asked an interesting question: "Would SunGard sell its availability services division to a third party?" The CEO replied as any wise deal maker would: "Yes, so long as it is the 'right price.' "
Fool contributor Tom Taulli does not own shares mentioned in this article.