Credit card transaction processor First Data Corp. is being acquired by an affiliate of private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. for about $29 billion US.

The $34 US per share deal is an approximately 26 per cent premium over First Data's closing price of $26.90 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, and about a 34 per cent premium over the average closing price during the past 30 trading days.

Under terms of the agreement, First Data can solicit third-party proposals over the next 50 days. The company plans to actively solicit proposals during that time.

First Data said Monday it plans to tender for all of its outstanding bonds in conjunction with the closing. First Data's board has approved the transaction.

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the third quarter, subject to shareholder approval, regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. The deal is not contingent on financing by the investor group.

Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch have committed to provide debt financing for the transaction subject to customary terms and conditions, and are acting as financial advisers to Kohlberg.

KKR was in the headlines last week, when reports emerged suggesting that the private equity firm was eyeing a takeover of telecommunications firm BCE Inc., whichthrew cold water on that suggestion.