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Worldpay valued at £4.8 billion in London listing

[LONDON] British payments processor Worldpay listed on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday in an initial public offering valuing the company at £4.8 billion (S$10.26 billion), the biggest flotation in London this year.

Shares in Worldpay were trading at 255 pence at 0735 GMT, up 5 per cent and above the 240 pence offer price. One source familiar with the matter said demand outstripped the number of shares on sale by 6 to 7 times.

Worldpay's private-equity owners Advent International and Bain Capital rejected an offer of up to £6.6 billion, including debt, earlier this year from French rival Ingenico Group SA, a source said at that time.

Including debt, the initial public offering (IPO) values Worldpay at £6.3 billion.

Advent International and Bain bought Worldpay from Royal Bank of Scotland in 2010 for about £2 billion. The business provides platforms to allow merchants to accept payments by cards and other methods.

Worldpay processes about 31 million mobile, online and in-store transactions every day and has about 4,500 staff, mostly in Britain and the United States, its two biggest markets. "We have already invested over £1 billion in our technology, people and capabilities, helping us to become an advanced and sophisticated technology-led organisation with great potential," Chief Executive Philip Jansen said on Tuesday.

Worldpay's private equity owners had narrowed the price range for the IPO to between 235 pence and 250 pence from 225 pence to 260 pence, Reuters reported last week.

A bookrunner for the deal said earlier this month that Worldpay was seeking a valuation of between £4.5 billion and £5.2 billion.

Worldpay said the IPO would raise £2.16 billion, with the company receiving 948 million. Worldpay's private equity owners will hold on to about 49 per cent of the company's shares.

London has seen fewer firms go public this year, with 93 listings raising about £5.3 billion by Sept 30, roughly half the £11 billion raised from 136 listings in the same period last year, according to stock exchange data.

British insurer Hastings Group's shares fell below the IPO price of 170 pence on the LSE on Monday.

Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley acted as joint global coordinators for the Worldpay IPO. Lazard acted as financial adviser to the company.

Worldpay made underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £375 million last year, up from £346 million in 2013.

REUTERS