Fidelity National Information Services Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., said Wednesday that it had agreed to acquire Metavante Technologies Inc., making it the industry's largest banking technology vendor by far.

Fidelity said it would pay $2.94 billion in stock for the Milwaukee company.

The two companies have several overlapping product lines, including core processing, check processing and imaging software. They said joining forces would enable them to generate "synergies of approximately $260 million."

There are also areas where the two companies are complementary. Fidelity caters mainly to large banks, while Metavante targets community banks. Fidelity inherited a strong credit card processing operation through its 2006 acquisition of Certegy Inc. Metavante operates one of the major image processing networks, Endpoint Exchange LLC.

Last year Fidelity and Metavante generated a combined $5.2 billion of revenue.

Fidelity ranked No. 2 among banking technology vendors, after Fiserv Inc., in American Banker's 2008 FinTech 100 list. Metavante ranked No. 10. Fidelity secured the top position in 2007, and buying Metavante would almost certainly vault the company back to the top this year.

William P. Foley 2nd would remain Fidelity's chairman. Frank R. Martire, Metavante's chairman and chief executive, would become Fidelity's CEO.

Under the tax-free deal, Fidelity would trade 1.35 shares of its stock for each Metavante share; Metavante would become part of a newly formed subsidiary of Fidelity.

The deal values Metavante at $24.57 a share, or a 23% premium over the stock's closing price Tuesday.

Metavante was a unit of Marshall & Ilsley Corp. of Milwaukee until a 2007 spinoff.

"The combined scale, complementary product capabilities and market breadth of these two great companies will drive significant competitive advantages in the increasingly dynamic marketplace," Foley said in a press release Wednesday.