$10bn United States tug-of-war for Worldpay

$10bn United States tug-of-war for Worldpay”

Worldpay, the UK's largest electronic payment processing group, has agreed to a takeover by USA rival Vantiv that values the British group at £7.7bn.

Worldpay, which allows companies to accept credit cards and online payments, said Tuesday that it has been approached separately by the two companies but that no official offers have been made.

The deal was announced 24 hours after Worldpay told the London Stock Exchange, where its shares are traded, that it had received approaches from both Vantiv and JPMorgan Chase.

The total value to Worldpay shareholders would be £3.85 (US$4.97) per Worldpay share.

Following the merger, Worldpay shareholders would own 41 percent of the combined company. The offer comprises 0.55 pounds in cash, 0.0672 in new Vantiv shares and a 5 pence dividend per share.

Cambridge Science Park company Worldpay, the UK's largest electronic payment processing group, is in a takeover tug-of-war involving two American competitors.

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

The company, a so-called merchant acquirer, helps traditional retailers and online businesses to process their payments.

There's no certainty that an offer will be made, and to comply with United Kingdom takeover rules, Vantiv and JPMorgan must say by August 1 whether they intend to bid, Worldpay said in a statement Tuesday.

Analysts had suggested that any deal could go as high as 450p per share, but the price retreated sharply to 365p as the agreed terms were published.

Worldpay Group PLC's stock soared almost 30% Tuesday, becoming the star performer in the U.K.'s FTSE 100 as two suitors approached the payments processor about a potential merger. On Tuesday, July 12 the stock rating was maintained by JP Morgan with "Neutral". The combined company would also expand Vantiv's footprint in the U.S., Europe, Asia-Pacific and South America, the boards said. Vantiv chief financial officer Stephanie Ferris would retain the same role. Its rival Nets confirmed on Monday it had been approached by potential buyers. It was sold to RBS in 2002, and later to private equity firms Bain Capital and Advent International.

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