Plagued by a sagging stock price and sudden executive resignations, NPC Inc., the nation's second-largest merchant processor, may now be a takeover target.

The Louisville, Ky.-based company, which was spun off from National City Corp., could be appetizing to the likes of First Data Corp., Citicorp, or Banc One Corp., according to industry sources. These firms could pay anywhere from $18 to $25 a share for NPC, sources said.

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