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Vantiv deadline to make firm bid for Worldpay extended

British payments firm Worldpay Group Plc said its U.S. suitor Vantiv Inc. has been granted an extension to decide whether to make a firm offer to acquire the company.

Vantiv is now required to clarify its intentions by no later than 5 p.m. London time Aug. 8. The deadline was initially set Aug. 1.

Worldpay added that "positive discussions" with Vantiv are continuing but that there can be no certainty that a firm offer will be made. The new deadline may be further extended with the consent of the U.K. Takeover Panel, the company noted.

Worldpay reached an agreement in principle with Vantiv on the key terms of a potential merger in early July. The initial deal would see Worldpay's shares delisted from the London Stock Exchange, with a view to create hubs in the U.K., Europe and the U.S.

The location of the combined group's international headquarters is one of the main sticking points of the negotiations, with Worldpay pushing to have it in London, Reuters reported.

Worldpay, which is advised by Goldman Sachs, is seeking to make the deal more agreeable to British regulators, "sources familiar with the matter" told the newswire.