MasterCard is to pay £700m for VocaLink, the UK company behind the LINK network of ATMs.
The deal makes VocaLink the second major British technology company to be purchased by a foreign buyer since Brexit, following the announcement that chip designer ARM is to be sold to Japanese company SoftBank for £24.3bn.
VocaLink is based in London and operates payments technology including the BACS system that enables direct credit and debit payments between bank accounts.
The firm also operates Faster Payments, a real-time service enabling payments via mobile, internet and telephone, and LINK.
The company is owned by a consortium of major banks, including Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC, and chaired by Sir John Gieve, a former deputy governor of the Bank of England.
VocaLink processed over 11 billion transactions last year with a value of £6tn, according to the company's website, and processes more than 90 per cent of UK salary payments, 70 per cent of household bills and almost all state benefits. The firm reported revenues of £182m in 2015.
MasterCard will own 92.4 per cent of VocaLink on conclusion of the deal, and the remaining stake will be retained by the current owners for at least three years. In addition to the £700m purchase price, MasterCard will pay a fee of up to £169m conditional on performance targets being met.
VocaLink has moved to reassure UK customers and employees that they will not be adversely affected by the acquisition.
"Today's announcement is positive news for our partners, customers and employees," said VocaLink CEO David Yates in a statement.
"We will continue to focus on ensuring that the UK systems perform seamlessly, maintaining the highest levels of quality. At the same time, we'll invest in further innovation to power competitive payments solutions for consumers and businesses around the globe."
Yates will join the MasterCard management committee once the deal is concluded. This is expected to take about 24 months provided regulatory approval is granted.
VocaLink denied that the sale has anything to do with the sinking value of the pound, and a spokesperson insisted that talks had been ongoing for eight months, according to the BBC.
The move was welcomed by new chancellor Philip Hammond, who said that the deal shows that foreign investors continue to have confidence in the UK economy after Britain's decision to leave the EU.
"MasterCard's decision to buy VocaLink shows that Britain remains an attractive destination for international investors," he said. "Britain is, and continues to be, an open and globally-facing country in which to do business."
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