Worldpay soars amid takeover interest from Vantiv, JPMorgan

by Susie Olson July 5, 2017, 0:20
Worldpay soars amid takeover interest from Vantiv, JPMorgan

Worldpay's shares hit record high.

"The board of Worldpay Group plc notes the recent press speculation concerning Worldpay and Worldpay share price movement and confirms that it has received preliminary approaches from Vantiv Inc and JPMorgan Chase Bank in relation to the potential acquisition of the entire issued, and to be issued, share capital of Worldpay", it said in a brief statement.

The area of payments processing is much more fashionable of late as more payments continue to move online, on smartphones and other mobile devices, providing growth in many financial technology companies and acquisitions by the traditional payment processors.

Over the weekend, Danish payment services company Nets A/S said that it had also been approached by potential buyers. A person familiar with the company said that the approach from Vantiv and J.P. Morgan was unsolicited. The company has a worth of $9 billion, based upon Tuesday's market capitalization.

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"We believe Worldpay is a unique asset and the current interest from two USA peers could also trigger the intention of parties like Google, Amazon, Apple", a note from Mediobanca Securities said. JP Morgan declined to comment.

The prospect of a bidding war for the company, a former subsidiary of Royal Bank of Scotland, pushed the shares up by 22 per cent to 389p, valuing WorldPay at £7.7 billion. The number of non-cash transactions rose 8.9 per cent in 2014 to reach $387.2 billion, according to Capgemini's World Payments Report.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, added: "Worldpay only joined the FTSE 100 in 2015 and was a welcome addition to an index that had become overpopulated by banks and miners".

Deal activity in the payments industry has so far been dominated by smaller companies being merged into divisions of bigger groups.

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