Worldpay, the UK’s largest electronic payment processing group, has announced that it is to merge with US-based firm Vantiv, following takeover approaches from two American companies.
A preliminary agreement has been reached for Worldpay to combine with its US rival Vantiv valuing the British group at £9.1 billion. The deal also sees two executives take the run for the group, between themselves based in London and Cincinnati.
This comes after news that Worldpay’s takeover request was approached by both Vantiv and JPMorgan Chase, the world’s largest bank by market value. According to the FT, shares in Worldpay have soared in the days following the announcement of the deal.
Below Hayley Bevis, Partner and Head of Corporate at law firm Coffin Mew, gives Finance Monthly her response to this story:
“It is no surprise that Worldpay has received takeover approaches from two US companies and is now to merge with Vantiv. In our experience, the size of cross-border transactions over the last year has increased dramatically, as has the appetite of overseas acquirers and investors since the result of the Brexit vote. From our discussions with overseas acquirers and investors, the interest in the UK’s fast-growth companies has been triggered by a number of factors including the favourable exchange rate, but also as a way of quickly expanding an overseas acquirer’s capabilities, experience, customer base and technological advances.
“We have seen a particular interest in the technology sector from overseas parties, with a UK based acquisition/investment often forming part of a larger “buy and build” strategy.
“In the case of Worldpay, tax and local law considerations will need to be taken into account by potential acquirers, as well as the often harder to define practicalities of how things are done locally in the acquirer/investor’s jurisdiction.
“We don’t foresee this trend abating any time soon, so UK companies should brace themselves for a flurry of unsolicited interest – and not be surprised when approaches come predominantly from overseas.”