Wed, Jul 05, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Vantiv, JPMorgan extend purchase bids to Worldpay

INDUCING INTEREST:Analysts said that the offers could prompt firms such as Google and Apple to make their own overtures for the British payment processor

Reuters, LONDON

Worldpay Group PLC, Britain’s largest payment processor, yesterday said that it had received separate takeover approaches from US credit card technology firm Vantiv Inc and JPMorgan Chase Bank.

Worldpay, which sells technology to businesses so they can take payments via credit cards, online or on mobile devices, said the approaches were preliminary and there was no certainty any deal would be made.

Businesses that automate payments have been becoming popular takeover targets for credit card companies, banks and technology firms all competing in the sector.

Over the weekend, Danish payment services company Nets A/S said that it had also been approached by potential buyers.

Worldpay’s shares rose sharply after it disclosed the takeover approaches, briefly hitting an all-time high of £4.02.

At 8:50am in London, the shares were trading at £3.62, valuing the company at £6.43 billion (US$8.3 billion).

Analysts said that other companies might now be interested in making a bid.

“We believe Worldpay is a unique asset and the current interest from two US peers could also trigger the intention of parties like Google, Amazon, Apple,” Mediobanca Securities said in a note to investors.

Vantiv and JP Morgan now have until Aug. 1 to announce firm intentions to buy or else walk away. Neither company could be reached for comment in the US, which is marking the July 4 holiday.

Worldpay was spun out of British lender Royal Bank of Scotland to private equity firms Bain Capital LP and Advent International in 2010.

The firms listed the company on the London Stock Exchange in late 2015, when it was valued at £4.8 billion.

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