Sir Mike Rake, the chairman of Worldpay, is to be handed a key role at the payments processing giant being created from its £9bn takeover by US rival Vantiv.
Sky News understands that Sir Mike, who will also step down as chairman of BT Group in November, will be named as the lead director of the combined company.
The deal will be announced on Wednesday, although further details of the board’s composition are expected to be delayed until later in the merger process, according to a source close to Vantiv.
One insider said that Martin Scicluna, the chairman of insurer RSA, and Tesco chairman John Allan will step down from their roles as non-executive directors.
Deanna Oppenheimer, a former Barclays executive, and Karen Richardson, who also sits on BT’s board, will remain with the enlarged payments group as non-executives.
Phil Jansen, the Worldpay chief executive, will become co-chief executive of the combined company.
Confirmation of a formal offer from Vantiv will include plans for a secondary stock market listing in London following complaints from big City investors.
Sky News revealed last week that the Investor Forum, a powerful shareholder body whose members manage assets worth £14tn, had intervened in order to make clear its members’ dissatisfaction with the modest takeover premium that Vantiv is proposing to pay.
The Forum’s engagement in discussions is rare in a takeover situation, and underlines the strength of feeling among some City fund managers about the shape of the prospective deal.
Image: Sir Mike is due to step down as BT Group chairman in November
Vantiv’s announcement of a binding offer for Worldpay will not include a formal commitment to retain British jobs, although it will state that the merged group’s international headquarters will be located in Britain.
Vantiv looks like being the only potential buyer of Worldpay after JP Morgan Chase, the giant American bank, decided against a bid.
Global Payments, another New York-listed company, is understood to have examined a counterbid, but bankers say the prospects of it trumping Vantiv are remote.
The prospective takeover of Worldpay comes two years after it was catapulted into the FTSE-100 after its flotation.
The British company used to be owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, which was forced to sell it as part of the lender’s bailout deal with Brussels.
Some shareholders have complained that Vantiv’s offer values Worldpay too cheaply, while Sir Mike said recently that the impact of Brexit on sterling was to blame for its vulnerability to a takeover.
Worldpay and Vantiv declined to comment.