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Worldpay Becomes Independent Company as GTCR Sale Closes

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Payments technology firm Worldpay has begun life as an independent business.

The company announced Thursday (Feb. 1) that former owner FIS had finalized the sale of Worldpay to private equity firm GTCR, which owns 55% of the business.

“As an independent company, Worldpay is committed to bringing greater levels of value, innovation and service to clients through increased investment in product development, technology and client solutions,” the company said in a news release.

The release adds that Worldpay “also plans to pursue strategic acquisitions across verticals and geographies to further enhance its ability to serve clients and expand its market opportunities. GTCR has committed an additional equity capital investment of up to $1.3 billion to pursue these opportunities.”

FIS, which purchased Worldpay in 2019, announced last summer that it was selling its majority stake in the firm to GTCR for $18.5 billion.

The payments company retains a 45% stake in Worldpay, according to the release. Charles Drucker, Worldpay’s former CEO, will return to lead the company.

In addition, Worldpay and FIS have formed a “long-term commercial relationship,” the release added, giving clients of both firms access to their solutions.

“Worldpay is well positioned for enhanced growth, and we look forward to continuing the strong partnership forged between our companies through our new commercial agreements,” said Stephanie Ferris, CEO and president of FIS. “I’m incredibly excited by the bright futures ahead for both FIS and Worldpay and the clients we serve.”

PYMNTS examined the deal – as well as rumors that another payments company, Worldline, was the target of a takeover — late last year.

As that report said, “declining stock prices may be drawing PE firms to kick the tires on would-be acquisitions, but there are a number of fundamental shifts in Europe governing payments — through open banking and real-time payments — that demand tech-enabled providers to meet new compliance and omnichannel demands.”

“As more businesses go online and tap new markets, especially digitally, the merchant acquiring is gaining new visibility as merchants need to be connected to payment networks, streamlining authorization and underwriting activities,” that report said.