Synovus close to decision on TSYS spin-off

A move to spin off Columbus-based electronic payment processing company TSYS from Synovus, its parent company, could be close to happening.

As a part of Tuesday's Synovus second-quarter earnings report, Chief Executive Officer Richard E. Anthony announced that Synovus will form a committee of board members "to make a final recommendation with respect to whether to distribute Synovus’ ownership interest in TSYS to Synovus’ shareholders."

Synovus, a Columbus bank holding company with operations in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina, owns 80.8 percent of TSYS.

"Although no specific timeframe for committee and board deliberations will be defined, I hope to be able to announce the board’s decision no later than our third quarter analyst call," Anthony said.

TSYS, with more than 6,700 employees and operations in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia, started more than three decades ago as a credit card processing department inside Columbus Bank & Trust Co.

TSYS issued a statement Tuesday morning: "We expect that any decision to proceed with a spin-off likely will be conditioned, among other things, on a pre-spin cash dividend being paid by TSYS to all of TSYS’ shareholders, including Synovus," the TSYS statement said.

TSYS said it has formed its on board-level committee.

"In light of the expected consideration of this matter by the Synovus special committee and board, the TSYS Board of Directors will form a special committee of independent TSYS directors to consider the terms of any proposed spin-off by Synovus of its ownership interest in TSYS, including the size of the pre-spin cash dividend," the TSYS release stated.

The company said it would have no additional comment until the Synovus decision is announced.

In trading Monday, on the New York Stock Exchange, TSYS (Ticker: TSS) shares slipped 8 cents to $29.36. The company's market value stands at $5.8 billion, while its 52-week stock range is $19.95 to $35.05 per share.

Synovus closed Monday at $30.22 per share. It's 52-week range is $28.61 to $33.82.