Capita has been granted due diligence access to Capita following a series of improved offers, the latest being at 160p a share in cash.
Shares in Xchanging – which offers services ranging from back-office invoice processing to insurance claims settlement – surged about 55 percent to 171.25 pence, indicating that a few investors expected a higher bid.
Xchanging, whose biggest clients include Lloyd’s of London, the insurance market, blamed disappointing first-half results on the poor performance of its procurement business.
Capita, which runs services including the Ministry of Defence pension scheme, said separately that Xchanging’s board had confirmed it would be willing to recommend Capita’s final offer.
A third player, perhaps a peer in global financial services support, could join the fray, Speakman added.
Xchanging, which ended its sponsorship of the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race in 2012 after an eight-year association, and Apollo both declined to comment on Saturday.
Xchanging stock opened at 170p per share on 5 October – a 53.5 percent increase on the Friday 2 October closing price of 110.75p.
Xchanging said there was no certainty of an offer and told its shareholders to keep their shares and to sit tight.
The FTSE 100 firm had pitched its first proposal to buy the firm at 140p per share, before raising it several times during September, according to Xchanging.
The offer is likely to be funded substantially from the net proceeds of a placing of new Capita shares.