The proposed KKR acquisition of First Data continues to create more questions than answers. This week FDC says there has not been any up-front discussions about KKR selling-off some of its operations. In response, TowerGroup released a “ViewPoint” titled, “KKR Bids for First Data Corporation: Is the Sum of the Parts Greater than the Whole?” The report says the deal clearly indicates the demise of FDC’s monolithic posture as the one company in the world that was able to process any consumer payment anywhere. TowerGroup questions whether KKR’s buyout effectively ends FDC’s ambitions relative to global expansion, or simply signals that this vision will be fulfilled only with serious retrenchment and investment. TowerGroup also says KKR will have to quickly determine whether to spin off components of FDC, align it with a complementary business, tightly integrate operating units, or invest in and improve it, the strategy will set a new course for the payments industry. Additionally, whether KKR chooses to maintain the business, as it has done with many prior acquisitions, or divest specific components remains to be seen. FDC’s substantial market components will be of interest to a wide audience in either event. Yet no matter what path KKR ultimately chooses, the strategy surrounding First Data is likely to set a new course for the global payments industry.