Worldpay — owned by Royal Bank of Scotland until the bank was forced to carve it out in the aftermath of the financial crisis — has flourished over the last two years as a standalone company.

Now it has been bought by US credit card processing company Vantiv for $10.4bn but its name will live on in the US, with the combined company — 43 percent owned by Worldpay investors and 57 percent by Vantiv — trading as Worldpay and listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Since it listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2015 — the biggest IPO of the year — Worldpay shares rose by 21 percent before the Vantiv deal was announced on the back of its rapid growth numbers.

Worldpay’s road to $10bn

Strategic acquisitions have been one of the ways Worldpay has been able to grow so quickly. Here’s a brief history of how it came to be valued at just over $10bn by Vantiv.

  • Founded in 1989 as a payment system called Streamline, first released by CentreFile, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Westminster Bank
  • CentreFile was sold to Ceridian in 1995 and the system was moved back under the National Westminster Bank umbrella
  • National Westminster Bank was acquired in 2002 by Royal Bank of Scotland Group and renamed the business RBS WorldPay
  • It was then combined with Streamline, Streamline International, PaymentTrust, Netherlands based Bibit, RiskGuardian and US-based Lynk over the next five years
  • All was well until the global financial crisis struck 10 years ago and RBS was forced by the European Commission to sell its Worldpay until as part its 2009 deal
  • Private equity groups Advent International and Bain Capital agreed to acquire Worldpay for £2bn
  • In 2010 Worldpay acquired Cardsave to expand card payment services to smaller retailers
  • Worldpay Zinc was launched in 2013, allowing payments to be taken through smartphones
  • Later that year Worldpay bought US payment processing company Century Payments 
  • An October 2015 IPO valued Worldpay at a whopping $5bn
  • Worldpay bought SecureNet Payment Systems in 2014 for an undisclosed price
  • The company boasts it processes £370bn in payments from 400,000 merchants every year and handles around 40 percent of web-based transactions in Europe
  • News emerges of Vantiv’s interest in the company in late July, sending shares sharply higher
  • Vantiv seals $10.4bn merger with Worldpay on 9 August 2017
  • The combined company will be valued at £22.2bn or $28.8bn and have an annual revenue of around $3.2bn