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Fidelity triggers 3-month extension of Stewart deal completion deadline

Stewart Information Services Corp. and Fidelity National Financial Inc. have extended by three months the point at which either of them can trigger the termination of their planned merger.

Under an option exercised by Fidelity National, the "end date" is now June 18, rather than March 18. The companies first announced their plans to merge March 19, 2018, saying at the time that they expected to wrap up the transaction by the first or second quarter of 2019. The terms included the right for either company to terminate the deal if not completed by March 18, 2019, subject to two extensions of up to three months each.

The New York State Department of Financial Services in February rejected the planned acquisition by Fidelity, with the companies saying they would work with the agency to resolve its concerns. Should the deal, which represents an equity value of about $1.2 billion for Stewart, fail to complete because of non-approval by regulators, Fidelity would have to pay Stewart a $50 million reverse break-up fee.