U.S. payments firm Vantiv clinches $10 billion deal to buy Worldpay

U.S. credit card processing company Vantiv secured a deal to buy British-based rival Worldpay for 8 billion pounds ($10.4 billion) on Wednesday in a bid to create a $29 billion global payments powerhouse.


The deal follows a wave of payments company mergers as consumers move away from cash transactions to digital payments - Worldpay

Vantiv's move, one of the biggest takeovers of a British firm since last year's Brexit vote, is part of a wave of payments company mergers as consumers move away from cash transactions to digital payments.

Companies such as Vantiv with a strong presence in the United States are scrambling to establish a global footprint in the fast-evolving payments industry.

Once a backwater of banking, the sector is now both lucrative and fast-growing, but also faces competition from newcomers trying to disrupt the way merchants are paid.

Shares in Worldpay, Britain's biggest payment provider, closed 1.28 percent higher at 388.5 pence after Wednesday's announcement of the deal, which marks the second biggest takeover of a British company this year after China Investment Corporation's $13.8 billion purchase in June of London-based warehouse firm Logicor.

Other recent deals in the payment sector include Britain's Paysafe Group backing a 3 billion pound takeover offer from a consortium of Blackstone BX. and CVC Capital Partners and French payments specialist Ingenico making a 1.5 billion euro swoop on Swedish rival Bambora.

Although Vantiv's deal was first announced on July 5, it has taken several weeks to conclude, with the deadline for a formal offer extended twice as Vantiv and Worldpay haggled over governance and safeguarding British jobs.

The combined Worldpay and Vantiv, which were both spun out of banks and have thrived in their home markets, will be called "Worldpay" and headquartered in Cincinnati, with a primary listing in New York and a secondary one in London.

Worldpay said that Vantiv has offered 55 pence in cash, 0.0672 of a new Vantiv share, an interim dividend of 0.8 pence per Worldpay share and a special 4.2 pence dividend, valuing the former RBS business at 397 pence per share.

"Our combined company will have unparalleled scale, a comprehensive suite of solutions, and the worldwide reach to make us the payments industry global partner of choice," Vantiv's president and CEO Charles Drucker said, adding that the deal will bring benefits in terms of size and technology.

Worldpay shareholders will own around 43 percent, while Vantiv investors will have 57 percent of the combined group whose pro forma enterprise value is more than 22 billion pounds.

Vantiv is paying a premium of 22.7 percent to the closing Worldpay share price of 320 pence on July 3, the last business day before the offer period started, and has proposed a "mix and match" facility which allows Worldpay shareholders to vary the proportion of shares and cash they receive.

The company's international operations will be run from London, but there will be no formal guarantees for jobs in Britain where Worldpay's UK division employs about 1,200 of its roughly 5,000 total.

© Thomson Reuters 2017 All rights reserved.

Fashion - MiscellaneousBusiness