- 2017年11月15日10:08 来源：互联网
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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%.
The European Commission obliged the Royal Bank of Scotland to sell Worldpay in 2010, as a condition of RBS's bail-out by the British state after the financial crisis.
欧盟委员会(European Commission)要求苏格兰皇家银行(Royal Bank of Scotland)在2010年出售Worldpay，作为苏格兰皇家银行在金融危机后对英国政府的救助条件。
Two private-equity firms bought it for 2bn pounds.
It was floated at a value of 4.8bn pounds in 2015.
Mr Khwaja says that by buying Worldpay, Vantiv will reduce its reliance on bricks-and-mortar merchants, which are losing out from a shift of retailing to online competitors such as Amazon.
Less than 10% of its revenue comes from processing e-commerce payments.
Worldpay, by contrast, makes more than one-third of its revenue from a fast-growing, global e-commerce business.
It is also the market leader in Britain, claiming a share of 42%, and has an American business of its own (the country's eighth-biggest, one-sixth of the size of Vantiv's, says the Nilson Report).
The deal marks a further step towards the industry's consolidation.
Last year, for example, Global Payments, the sixth-biggest American acquirer, bought Heartland, a smaller rival, for $4.3bn in cash and shares.
TSYS bought TransFirst for $2.4bn. Vantiv snaffled Moneris USA, the American arm of a Canadian payments-processor, for $425m.
In Europe, Mr Khwaja notes, national markets tend to be ruled by local players, despite the EU's supposedly single market.
Cross-border consolidation has far to go.
But in a business of thin margins, scale is starting to count.
Worldline, descended from the acquiring subsidiaries of three French banks, has spread into the Benelux countries and Germany.
On July 3rd Nets, a Nordic payments company, said it had been approached about a takeover.
It's an acquisitive business.