The board of Britain’s biggest payments processor is close to backing an £8.5bn takeover from Vantiv, a US rival.
Sky News has learnt that Worldpay Group, which disclosed on Tuesday that it had received approaches from Vantiv and JP Morgan Chase, could announce a deal with the former company later on Wednesday.
Sources said that Worldpay and Vantiv had worked through the night to reach agreement on a deal, which is expected to be billed as a merger of the two payments giants.
A takeover offer for Worldpay would come? about two years after it was propelled straight into the FTSE-100 through an initial public offering.
The British company, which has a relatively minor presence in the US, attracted interest from? Vantiv last year before the talks fell apart, according to people close to the situation.
Worldpay was previously owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, which sold the payments business as part of its state aid deal with Brussels after its £45bn taxpayer bailout in 2008.
Vantiv is being advised by Morgan Stanley, while Worldpay is taking advice from Goldman Sachs.
JP Morgan will be free to make a counter-offer, and one source indicated that it had already informed Worldpay of the price it was prepared to bid.
Worldpay declined to comment, while Vantiv, which has a market value of $12.3bn, could not be reached.