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.