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JPMorgan Chase and Cincinnati-based Vantiv each have made preliminary takeover offers for Worldpay, a British payment processing company currently valued north of $10.5 billion. The firms now have until August 1 to make formal bids, and it wouldn't be surprising if other suitors emerge during that time.

  • Update: Well, that didn't last long. Vantiv just announced that it has agreed to acquire Worldpay for around $9.94 billion, with JPMorgan saying it won't make a counteroffer. If completed, Worldpay shareholders would hold around a 41% equity stake in the combined company. This development does not preclude Worldpay from soliciting superior offers.

Why it matters: Worldpay is a major rival to U.S. companies like First Data, PayPal and Stripe — processing more than 31 million payments daily (including mobile, online and point-of-sale). If a full-blown auction emerges, it could result in offers for other payment processing companies (Denmark's Nets AS, owned by private equity firms, also said it has received unsolicited approaches). Not only from banks and other payment processing companies, but also from more mainstream tech companies.

Go deeper

21 mins ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

1 hour ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.