Worldpay seals £9bn merger with US rival Vantiv


U.S. credit card processing company Vantiv moved closer to creating a $29 billion global payments powerhouse on Wednesday with a formal offer to buy Britain’s Worldpay for 8 billion pounds ($10 billion).

Vantiv’s move is part of a wave of payments company mergers around the world as consumers are moving away from cash transactions to smartphone or mobile payments and the industry, once a backwater of banking, faces growing competition from newcomers trying to disrupt the way merchants are paid.

Recent deals have included British payment firm 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. Worldpay is Britain’s biggest payment provider, processing about 31 million mobile, online and in-store transactions each day.