The private equity owners of WorldPay are reconsidering their planned mega-flotation of the British payments company as French rival Ingenico drums up funds for a £6.6 billion takeover bid.
Market rumours suggest that Ingenico tabled an offer earlier this week, lining up BNP Paribas, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley to work alongside HSBC, Natixis and Societe Generale on the financing of the bid. A merger between WorldPay and Ingenico would create an £11 billion payment processing gorilla.
WorldPay's private equity owners Bain Capital and Advent called off an announcement on the IPO late last week, as Ingenico expressed its interest. The cancellation of the float would be a blow to the London listings market, which has been treading water in the wake of the Chinese stock market crisis.
WorldPay recently posted first half results showing a 13% rise in underlying earnings to £182.6m. With its value only set to increase as the UK opens up its payments market, the company may yet draw the attention of other admirers.
The £6.6 billion valuation comes five years after cash-strapped Royal Bank of Scotland offloaded the company for £2 billion.