British payments processor soars almost 30% on news of possible American takeover

Worldpay Group Plc (WPG.L), Britain's largest payment processor is "close to" recommending a takeover offer from US credit card technology firm Vantiv Inc (VNTV.N), Sky News reported citing sources.

Worldpay's share price has been rallying this year, from 271p per share on January 3 to a high of 323.7p on June 20 before dropping slightly.

Under the terms of the potential merger, Worldpay shareholders would receive a total value of 3.85 pounds per share.

An official offer of 385 pence per share in cash and shares sent stock down more than six per cent.

The companies will effectively merge, with Charles Drucker taking on a role as executive chairman and Co-CEO and Philip Jansen as Co-CEO.

Vantiv is largely focused on the USA, helping merchants, banks and credit unions accept card payments, as well as gift cards and online payments.

The bank has expanded its relationship with Wal-Mart, with the two companies announcing in September that transactions made with JPMorgan's Visa-branded credit- and debit-cards would be processed on ChaseNet, its proprietary payments network.

Worldpay has agreed terms of a potential takeover by a larger U.S. rival.

The company later sealed the biggest flotation of 2015 when it listed on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation of £4.8bn.

Despite the jump in Worldpay shares, the FTSE 100 index was down 31.25 points at 7,345.84.

The new entity will operate in "the four core regions of the U.S., Europe, Asia-Pacific and South America".

Other payments companies also gained, with Germany's Wirecard AG and France's Worldline SA climbing as much as 5.3 percent and 4.4 percent respectively. Vantiv Chief Financial Officer Stephanie Ferris, will remain CFO of the combined group. The lender, which had considered making a bid for Worldpay, walked away Wednesday after Vantiv's offer became public.

Worldpay Group plc is a United Kingdom company, which provides a range of technology-led payment services and products.

Over the weekend, Nets, the Danish payments services company, said it had been approached by potential suitors.

  • Wendy Palmer