Financial software business Worldpay has confirmed it has received separate takeover approaches from fellow payments processor Vantiv and JP Morgan. The proposals from the two US businesses would be for the entire company, which had a market cap of around £6.5 billion prior to the announcement.
The move comes at a busy time for financial technology deals in Europe. Over the weekend, Danish digital payments company Nets confirmed that it had been approached by potential buyers and was reviewing its options.
These deals would be typical of an industry where both corporate and financial investors are clamouring for a piece of the action. PE deals in European software, for instance, are on pace to smash last year’s numbers both in terms of volume and value. Indeed, the largest deal of this kind, per the PitchBook Platform, occurred in January—Permira, Cinven and Mid Europa’s takeover of Allegro for €3.1 billion.
Payments processing in particular is an attractive part of the financial software space, as consumers look to access easier and simplified ways of moving money. A 2016 study by Visa, for example, found that half of consumers are using mobile banking. And it's not just limited to younger, more tech-savvy buyers, either—mobile banking among 55- to 64-year-olds grew by 33% last year, per the report. Shares of Worldpay (LON: WPG) closed up 28% on Tuesday, resulting in a market cap of around £8.2 billion.