Payment processing service Vantiv Inc. (NYSE: VNTV) agreed to purchase Litle & Co. for $361 million, allowing the Cincinnati-based buyer to potentially expand its e-commerce capabilities.

Lowell, Mass.-based Litle provides payments services for companies that sell goods and services to consumers over the Internet and through direct-response marketing. Among the assets Vantiv acquires through the sale are Litle’s list of clients, which includes online merchants,, Gilt Groupe, Guthy-Renker, ShopNBC and

Vantiv’s buying of Litle is the latest payments-technology deal in what has been an active couple of years for strategic buyers and private equity firms making moves within the sector, especially when it comes to mobile technology. For more coverage, see “Mobile Payments Signal M&A Trend” 

The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year. Vantiv hired J.P. Morgan and Ulmer & Berne as financial adviser and legal counsel, respectively.

William Blair & Co. brokered the sale for Litle, while WilmerHale handled legal matters.

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