Europe

Worldpay Headed For London’s Largest IPO This Year

Never a dull moment at U.K. payments firm Worldpay. After a summer of courting by private equity and its various rivals — notably Germany’s Wirecard and France’s Ingenico — Worldpay looks like it instead might just be going again on its own (walking down the only road they’ve ever known), with a listing of shares on the London Stock Exchange.

The private equity partners (Advent International and Bain Capital) that own Worldpay Group have officially moved toward an IPO, which could see the the U.K. payments processor raise as much as £890 million pounds ($1.4 billion).

With the IPO move, Worldpay has ended some very high-profile courtships of the last several weeks. Apart from Ingenico and Wirecard — both of whom were offering purchase prices in the multiple billions for the rival firm — private equity bidders, like Blackstone Group and Hellman & Friedman, were also in the mix.

Worldpay was purchased in 2010 for $2.7 billion. Last year, the firm brought in $5.6 billion in revenue.

Ingenico’s interest in Worldpay was its potential to help elevate the French firm’s position and expand its business beyond payments hardware that offers similar processing capabilities to Worldpay’s. All firms interested seem to be pursuing the British firm for the same reason: a desire to tap into the ever-growing pool of consumers who shop on mobile and online.

It is unknown at this time if Worldpay’s parents — Bain and Advent — will sell their shares during the IPO. If they do, it will make Worldpay the biggest IPO in London this year.

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