Shares in Worldpay hit new highs after the UK’s largest payments processor received separate preliminary takeover offers from JPMorgan and Vantiv of the US.
Worldpay said it had “received preliminary approaches”, but that “there can be no certainty either that an offer will be made nor as to the terms of any offer, if made”. Worldpay shares rose as much as 26% to £4.03 on Tuesday morning, giving the group a market capitalisation of almost £7.9bn, according to the FT.
The FTSE 100 company was formed through a spin-off from Royal Bank of Scotland following its state bailout. It reported a profit before tax of £264m last year, up from £19m in 2015. It processed about 15bn transactions in 2016.
The group was floated on the London Stock Exchange with a value of £6.3bn in 2015, making it the biggest initial public offering of that year. Worldpay said its announcement had been made without the consent of Vantiv or JPMorgan and that a further announcement would be made if appropriate.
Under UK takeover rules, Vantiv and JPMorgan must clarify how they wish to proceed by August 1. JPMorgan declined to comment while Vantiv could not immediately be reached for comment. The news comes on the heels of a similar announcement by Worldpay rival Nets Holding.
Scandinavia’s biggest payments processor confirmed at the weekend that it had been approached about a potential takeover while not naming its suitor. The Denmark-based company, which floated last September with a market capitalisation of around $4.5bn, said it was reviewing its options.