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Published: Wed, July 05, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Worldpay soars amid takeover interest from Vantiv, JPMorgan

Worldpay soars amid takeover interest from Vantiv, JPMorgan

Vantiv and JP Morgan now have until August 1 to announce firm intentions to buy or else walk away.

Shares in Worldpay (LON:WPG) have jumped 24% following reports that the company is the target of a takeover bid by unnamed City sources.

WallStreet Wires said earlier Tuesday that Worldpay, whose shares have climbed more than 60 per cent since its listing in 2015, had received an approach and hired advisers.

Worldpay said it had received preliminary approaches from each firm but that there was no certainty about a formal offer being made.

Shares in the British company soared on the news, rising as much as 22%, to value the company at more than £7 billion ($9.06 billion). Neither company could be reached for comment in the United States, which is marking the July 4 holiday.

Vantiv by contrast is largely US-focused and slightly larger in market cap terms and consolidating its position through the acquisition of smaller United States rivals.

Payment services upstarts are challenging traditional banking's grip on the movement of money as customers increasingly make payments on mobile devices.

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

Since then, the company has invested over £1bn in its business and has acquired several payment businesses and financial technology companies.

JPMorgan Chase Bank and tech firm Vantiv Inc are believed to be among the parties eagerly monitoring the UK's largest payment processor. The bank has joined with a number of US retailers to push its payment app.

If it were finalized, a deal involving Vantiv would expand the Cincinnati-based company's geographic footprint.

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.

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