Worldpay to Sell Shares on the London Stock Exchange

  • Advent, Bain to get most of proceeds from any Visa Europe sale
  • Ingenico shares rise as Worldpay rebuffs French company's bid

The private-equity owners of Worldpay Group Plc decided to pursue an initial public offering in which the U.K. payments processor will raise about 890 million pounds ($1.4 billion), rebuffing a bid by Ingenico Group of France.

Worldpay plans to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange, it said in a regulatory statement Friday. The company’s publicly traded shares are expected to be at least 25 percent of outstanding stock. Advent International Corp. and Bain Capital Partners may also sell part of their stakes.

Advent and Bain, as well as other shareholders including management, would be entitled to 90 percent of the proceeds from any sale of the company’s interest in Visa Europe Ltd., according to the statement. Worldpay has a 6 percent stake in Visa Europe and the company is valued at more than $15 billion, according to the statement. Worldpay will retain 10 percent of any proceeds.

Visa Inc. said in July it’s in talks to possibly reunite with Visa Europe. Visa Europe is owned by more than 3,000 European banks and has a put option that would force its former parent to buy it within about nine months if at least 80 percent of its board agrees, regulatory filings show. A deal may be valued at about $20 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said in May.

Competing Bids

Ingenico shares jumped as much as 14 percent in Paris. Private-equity bidders including Blackstone Group and Hellman & Friedman as well as German payments processor Wirecard AG were among those competing to acquire the London-based company and had valued it at over 6 billion pounds, people familiar with the matter said in August.

Advent and Bain Capital bought Worldpay from Royal Bank of Scotland Plc in 2010 for 1.7 billion pounds. The company, which processes in-store, mobile and online payment transactions, reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 375 million pounds last year, on revenue of 3.6 billion pounds, according to its website.

A takeover by Ingenico would have reinforced the French company’s position beyond selling hardware terminals that provide related payments services. Worldpay, Ingenico, Wirecard and rivals including Worldline SA and Global Payments Inc. are seeking to tap into growth sparked by a rising number of merchants offering online and mobile shopping. Ingenico didn’t immediately return calls and an e-mail seeking comment.

If Bain and Advent sell stakes, the IPO could be the largest in London this year. Companies have raised about $12.5 billion from listings in 2015, the biggest of which saw Auto Trader Group Plc raise $2.5 billion in February.

Worldpay will have two classes of shares after it lists, ordinary and contingent value rights to reflect its interest in Visa Europe, according to the statement. Terms of the CVRs will be outlined in the prospectus.

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