Worldpay shares leap on takeover approaches

On Tuesday, British payments processor company Worldpay Group said it received two different preliminary approaches from Vantiv its rival in the USA and JPMorgan Chase over the possibility of a takeover.

Shares in the company surged 70p to 389.7p, as analysts at Mediobanca Securities suggested technology titans Google (GOOGL.O), Amazon (AMZN.O) and Apple (AAPL.O) could join the fray.

Worldpay's European rival payment company Nets A/S said last weekend that it had been approached by suitors.

The UK payments processing company has received offers from JPMorgan and Vantiv. The company has a worth of $9 billion, based upon Tuesday's market capitalization.

Worldpay said: "The board notes the..."

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Under takeover rules in Britain, JPMorgan and Vantiv now have until August 1 to submit a formal offer. Neither company could be reached for comment in the USA, which is marking the July 4 holiday. J.P. Morgan declined to comment.

Worldpay provides businesses with the technology needed to process payments on cards, online or on mobile.

Worldpay shares were marked 12.71% higher to change hands at 360.1 pence at 9:45 BST, extending a 26.45% gain over the past three months and giving it a market value of £7.85 billion ($9.7 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.

RBS sold a majority stake in Worldpay to Bain Capital and Advent International in 2010 to comply with European state aid rules after receiving a £45.5 billion bailout from the United Kingdom government during the financial crisis.

Worldpay, the United Kingdom payment processing group chaired by City veteran Sir Michael Rake, is the subject of a takeover tussle less than two years after floating on the stock market.

  • Rita Burton