Worldpay Group plc and Vantiv Inc. said Wednesday they have reached an agreement in principle on the main terms of a merger, under which Worldpay shareholders would receive 55 pence in cash and 0.0672 new Vantiv shares for each of their Worldpay shares. The British payments processor said Tuesday it had received preliminary takeover approaches from Vantiv, a rival in the U.S., and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. . Under the terms of Vantiv's offer, Worldpay shareholders would also be entitled to a cash dividend of 5 pence per share. The total value of the offer is 3.85 pounds per Worldpay share, or a premium of 18.9% over Worldpay's closing share price on July 3. Worldpay shareholders would own 41% of the combined entity on a diluted basis. "The potential merger creates a scale world class payments group in a dynamic market, with deep payments capabilities, product and vertical expertise and strong distribution channels to serve merchants around the world in the global ecommerce market, and in-store and online in the UK and US markets," the companies said in a joint statement. Vantiv shares were halted in premarket trade for the news, but have gained 5% in 2017 so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.5%.
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