Electronic payment firm Worldpay to merge with U.S. rival Vantiv

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

Worldpay announced in a statement today that it had agreed in principle on the key terms of a potential cash-and-share merger with Vantiv.

Earlier this week, Worldpay revealed that it had was approached by Vantiv and JP Morgan Chase with takeover offers, with JP Morgan ultimately bowing out.

The deal is being billed as a merger but under the terms Worldpay would renounce its place on the FTSE 100 and the combined group's shares would trade exclusively in NY with Worldpay investors holding 41%.

The deal, seen by analysts as the start of a trend for consolidation in the payments industry, will see Vantiv give Worldpay shareholders 55 pence in cash per share plus 0.0672 new Vantiv shares plus a cash dividend of 5 pence per Worldpay share.

The deal, if successful, would create a trans-Atlantic payments processing giant with a combined market value of more than $20 billion.

The company would be led by Vantiv's Charles Drucker as executive chairman - with Worldpay's Philip Jansen joining him as co-chief executive.

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Boasting a 5,000 strong staff at its London HQ, the payments firm is considered a market leader in the United Kingdom, dealing with over 40% of all transactions made.

The boards of Worldpay Group plc and Vantiv, Inc.

The UK's biggest payment processor, Worldpay Group, has agreed to the terms of an acquisition offer from U.S. rival Vantiv.

Worldpay could command a knockout price of as much as £9 billion, analysts suggested yesterday in the wake of the disclosure that it was being wooed by two American bidders.

The board will be made up of four Worldpay directors and seven from Vantiv. Gordon Smith, chief executive officer of the bank's consumer-banking division, said last month that the MCX deal was "something we'd like to do more of, to look for technologies that we can acquire that will facilitate and accelerate our growth".

The FTSE 100 fintech company has received a preliminary approach from each firm, but said it did not guarantee that a formal offer would be made. It was sold to RBS in 2002, and later to private equity firms Bain Capital and Advent International.

  • Ronnie Bowen