Credit card behemoth Mastercard has made a £233 million all cash offer to acquire the UK payments firm Earthport, outbidding Visa’s earlier proposal by a 10% premium.

“The board of Earthport is pleased to recommend Bidco’s cash offer for Earthport which is at a 10% premium to the Visa proposal. This offer provides our shareholders with even greater value in cash for their shares,” Sunil Sabharwal, interim chairman, Earthport said in a statement to exchange.

Last month, the boards of Earthport and Visa’s investing subsidiary had agreed to an offer price of 30 pence per share. Visa’s recommendation was withdrawn after Mastercard offered 33 pence per share.

“Mastercard believes that the offer of 33 pence per Earthport Share in cash is compelling and urges Earthport Shareholders to take no action in relation to the Visa offer,” the statement said.

Mastercard UK Holdco, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Mastercard said that it intends to invest in and enhance Earthport’s current network. It added that there are no plans to reduce the headcount or make any “material changes” to the skills and functions of employees in the payments firm.

Mastercard’s network spans 210 countries and territories. The New York-based card company has over 14,800 employees around the globe. “Mastercard can complement and enhance Earthport’s existing capabilities and allow it to accelerate development of a more robust account to account cross-border network service,” the payments firm said.

London-based Earthport provides cross-border payment services to banks and businesses. It has regional offices in New York, San Francisco, Miami and Singapore. It’s global payment capability spans over 200 countries and territories, with local automated clearing house options in 88 countries.

Rothschild & Co acted as advisers to Earthport in this deal.


by Parnika Sokhi
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