Payment processor's shares surge on takeover interest
Worldpay Group, Britain's largest payment processor, has received rival bid approaches from US credit-card technology firm Vantiv and JPMorgan Chase Bank, sending its shares up by more than 25pc.
The bid approaches show how automated payments specialists have become attractive targets for credit-card companies, banks and technology firms seeking to capitalise on the growth in popularity of paying by smartphone or other mobile devices.
Danish payment-services company Nets said over the weekend that it had also been approached by potential buyers.
Worldpay, which sells technology to businesses so they can take payments via cards, online or on mobile devices, said the approaches were preliminary and that there was no certainty of any deal.
Sources close to the company added that the offers were unsolicited.
Worldpay's shares hit a record high. By midday yesterday, they were up 25.4pc.
The company has a market capitalisation of about £6.43bn pounds (€7.3bn), according to Thomson Reuters data.
Analysts suggested that other companies might now be interested in making bids.
"We believe Worldpay is a unique asset and the current interest from two US peers could also trigger the intention of parties like Google, Amazon, Apple," a note from Mediobanca Securities said.
Vantiv and JP Morgan now have until August 1 to announce firm intentions to buy or else walk away.
Vantiv could not immediately be reached for comment. JP Morgan declined to comment.
Payment processing has grown rapidly as consumers shun cash. (Reuters)