Worldpay, the largest payments processor in the UK, is to be acquired by Vantiv, a 40-year-old credit card processor based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The deal is valued at £7.7 billion ($9.95 billion). It was confirmed as JPMorgan Chase said it was dropping out of the bidding.
Vantiv described the agreement as a “potential merger” that may or may not be consummated following a period of due diligence.
Discussions between the parties remain ongoing regarding the other terms and conditions of the deal, it says.
But in a statement, the company says:
"The Boards of Worldpay and Vantiv see compelling strategic, commercial and financial rationale for combining Worldpay and Vantiv’s complementary businesses.
"The potential merger creates a scale world class payments group in a dynamic market, with deep payments capabilities, product and vertical expertise and strong distribution channels to serve merchants around the world in the global e-commerce market, and in-store and online in the UK and US markets."
With the growth of ecommerce around the world, companies that provide payment solutions are either prime targets for acquisition or likely acquirers themselves as they seek to assemble toolkits that can manage a variety of geographic payment issues.
Last year, Global Payment Inc. bought Heartland Payment Systems for $4.7 billion.
PayPal Holdings acquired Tio Networks Corp. a Canadian company, for $230 million.
Vantiv says the combined company would serve customers in the four core regions of the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific and South America, including many of the world’s largest ecommerce merchants, and a substantial base of merchants in Europe and the US.
Its “substantial” engineering capability and talent would have hubs in the UK, Europe and US.
Vantiv said it would bring together the best of both management teams, including Charles Drucker, currently chief operating officer of Vantiv, as executive chairman and co-CEO; Philip Jansen, current CEO of Worldpay, as co-CEO, and Stephanie Ferris, current chief financial officer at Vantiv, as CFO.