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Worldpay deal on a knife edge

The Worldpay IPO is on the verge of being called off according to sources. The current owners are set to sell the company to French rival Ingenico if it increases its offer to £6.5bn.

Bain Capital and Advent, the private equity owners of Worldpay, were scheduled to

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Worldpay deal on a knife edge

announce details of a £6bn share issue on Monday but postponed the announcement last Friday as Ingenico hovered. The French firm has been told to pay £6.5bn and the company will be theirs – according to a report in The Guardian.

Sir Mike Rake, the BT chairman, left the board of Barclays, where he was instrumental in the ousting of Antony Jenkins, in order to steer Worldpay to the public markets. This time last year he chaired the roadside assistance group the RAC as it prepared for a flotation but left when the Singapore wealth fund GIC bought a stake instead.

One source said that Rake had played a key role in the negotiations at Worldpay and did not have any personal preference over a bid or a flotation (though he would keep his chairman’s role in the event of a float).

Some of those advising Worldpay on a flotation have cautioned against the current instability of the markets and the possibility of them being further shaken by a rise in US interest rates.

However, they also know that agreeing a deal with Ingenico is not without risk. The French group would more than double its market capitalisation of €6.2bn (£4.5bn) by making a bid that would require shareholder approval and considerable external financing.

Investment bankers were hoping that a £6bn flotation would help kickstart the new issues market in London, which has been relatively quiet since the election and the summer months, also troubled by the turmoil on the China markets.

So far there have been 53 UK issues this year, compared with 93 at the same time last year, according to Dealogic. Some of the large flotations this year have included DFS Furniture in February, which had a valuation of £585m and Autotrader, which was valued at £2.35bn.

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