Belfast Telegraph

Visa trumps Mastercard with fresh offer for Earthport

The British payments firm is the subject of a bidding war between the two credit card titans.

Two credit card titans are going toe to toe (PA)
Two credit card titans are going toe to toe (PA)

Visa has increased its offer for British payments firm Earthport as its takeover tussle with rival Mastercard continues.

Visa has now tabled a 37p per share bid, valuing the cross-border payments firm at £247 million.

It is an advance on its previous offer of 30p per share and follows a January bid from Mastercard of 33p.

The new figure is 12% above Mastercard’s offer and 23% higher than the original Visa bid.

Earthport’s interim chair Sunil Sabharwal said: “The board of Earthport is pleased to recommend Bidco’s (Visa’s) cash offer for Earthport which is at a 12% premium to the Mastercard proposal.

“This revised cash offer provides our shareholders with even greater value in cash for their shares.”

Visa said it has the backing of around 17% of Earthport shareholders for its offer.

Mastercard said it is now considering its options, urging Earthport shareholders to take no action on Visa’s bid. It said it will make a further announcement in “due course”.

The deal war comes after a difficult year for Earthport in which it lost a major customer, saw reduced transaction volumes and underwent a management shake-up.

Earthport shares closed flat on Thursday at 38.8p apiece.