Finance and Economics
Payments: Acquirer acquired
An American payments firm goes online and buys British.
A Bidding war was briefly but eagerly anticipated. In the end, not a shot was fired.
On July 4th the share price of Worldpay, a British payments processor, leapt by 28% after the company said it had received preliminary approaches from JPMorgan Chase, America's biggest bank, and Vantiv, an American payments firm.
The next day Worldpay said it had accepted a cash-and-shares bid from Vantiv, worth 7.7bn pounds ($10bn) , giving its shareholders 41% of the combined group.
JPMorgan Chase, sniffily explaining that it had considered a bid after an “invitation” from Worldpay, which is a client, declined to proceed.
Under Britain's takeover code that refusal rules out a counter bid for six months.
The shares slipped back by nearly 9%.
Vantiv and Worldpay are “merchant acquirers” : companies that have contracts with sellers of goods and services, and licences from credit- and debit-card companies, to accept and process card payments.
They also provide insurance—for example, refunding disappointed holidaymakers when an airline goes bust.
Until a few years ago, explains Ali Farid Khwaja of Autonomous, an investment-research firm, acquirers in both America and Europe had to have banking licences.
直到几年前，自治的Ali Farid Khwaja解释道，一家投资研究公司，要求在美国和欧洲的收购者都必须拥有营业执照。
As a consequence, banks still feature in lists of leading acquirers.
According to the Nilson Report, a newsletter, they accounted for three of America's top seven last year: JPMorgan Chase ranked first, with Vantiv second.
Both Vantiv and Worldpay, indeed, emerged from banks.
事实上，Vantiv 和 Worldpay都来自银行。
Vantiv was spun off in 2009 by Fifth Third, an Ohio-based lender which still owns 17.9%.