UK payments firm close to $10 billion takeover by US rival

Britain's largest payment processing company has agreed to a 7.7 billion pound ($9.9 billion) get taken over by U.S. rival Vantiv.

Worldpay, which allows businesses to accept credit cards and online payments, said Wednesday that the companies had "reached an agreement in principle on the key terms of a potential merger," though no official offer has been made.

The announcement follows Worldpay's confirmation Tuesday that it had been in takeover talks with both Cleveland-based Vantiv and JPMorgan, news that boosted their stock 28 percent.

The stock fell about 8 percent on Wednesday to 3.73 pounds ($4.82) per share.

Under the terms of the potential merger, Worldpay shareholders would receive a total value of 3.85 pounds per share. The offer comprises 0.55 pounds in cash, 0.0672 in new Vantiv shares and a 5 pence dividend per share.

That bid puts the value of the company at 7.7 billion pounds.

The boards of Vantiv and Worldpay said they see "compelling strategic, commercial and financial rational" for merging. Leaders from both companies would work together as a "combined group" post-merger.

Vantiv must make an official offer by August 1 under UK takeover law.