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WorldPay Chooses IPO Over Multiple Buyout Bids

After announcing plans to take WorldPay public on the London Stock Exchange, Ingenico, Wirecard AG and a private equity consortium each made offers to acquire the business. French payment company and hardware manufacturer Ingenico even secured financing for a bid, rumored to be as much as £6.6 ($10.2) billion, but WorldPay turned down this and the other offers opting to secure public financing instead.

Spun off from RBS when a majority stake was purchased for $3 billion by private equity firms Advent and Bain Capital in 2010, WorldPay has enjoyed tremendous growth and success as a private company. Likely looking to collect the returns on their investment, the owners announced they would be publicly listing the company on the London Stock Exchange. Meanwhile global economic uncertainty led to declining equity markets in Asia, Europe and the U.S., prompting two companies to bid on purchasing WorldPay as an alternative to going forward with an IPO during these tumultuous times. One of these companies was Wirecard AG, a German payment processor that specializes in eCommerce and mobile payments.

These offers weren’t enough to completely derail WorldPay’s plans to go public, but ownership did stop to consider them. While doing so a third offer came in from another European payments company, this time from Ingenico Group. Ingenico has predominantly been known in the industry as POS terminal hardware provider but also dabbles in eCommerce credit card processing. Ingenico acquired Netherlands-based payment service provider GlobalCollect for €820 ($917) million last year making a big push into the competitive payment processing market. The WorldPay deal, however, would be significantly larger.

Ingenico, who is listed on the Euronext stock exchange, made a mostly cash offer to purchase WorldPay for as much as £6.6 ($10.2) billion, outbidding offers from Wirecard and the private equity groups. However, this was not enough to sway WorldPay’s decision to take the company public, and the decision to continue with the flotation, or initial public offering, on the London Stock Exchange was announced over the weekend. WorldPay will look to raise around £890 million ($1.4 billion) by listing at least 25 percent of the company on the London Stock Exchange sometime next month.

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