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Alight to sell payroll and professional service business for up to $1.2 billion

March 20 (Reuters) - Alight said on Wednesday it has agreed to sell its professional services and payroll outsourcing business to an affiliate of private equity firm HIG Capital for up to $1.2 billion.

Shares of the benefits service provider rose around 10%.

The deal is in the form of $1 billion in cash and up to $200 million in seller notes, of which $150 million is contingent upon the payroll and professional segment's 2025 financial performance.

"This strategic transaction results in a more agile Alight and enhances our competitiveness as we strengthen our technology," said CEO Stephan Scholl.

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Alight was the target of activist hedge fund Starboard Value last month as it built a 7.8% stake in the company and nominated four people to its board to push for changes.

Alight helps businesses, including many major companies, manage health benefits for employees and offers payroll solutions.

The transaction has been approved by Alight's board and is expected to close by mid-2024. The company also expects to update its full-year 2024 financial forecast after the sale closes. (Reporting by Zaheer Kachwala in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)