Abraaj Group agreed to sell its 49% share in Network International for electronic payment solutions in the Middle East and Africa region, for the benefit of Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic. Emirates National Bank of Dubai (Emirates NBD) will retain its share in the company which amounts to 51%.
According to a press release, Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic have received consultation services from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Perella Weinberg Partners, Morgan Stanley and Citi. Emirates NBD received consultation services from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. The transaction is subject to customary Financial Close conditions.
Network International, which was founded in 1994, is considered a leading company in the field of payment solutions in the Middle East and Africa. The company offers a comprehensive range of payment solutions and services with a focus on the acquisition of commercial services, as it works to facilitate the completion of payment transactions of traders through integrated payment platforms that are available via e-commerce channels at the point of sale and through mobile devices.
Network International also offers “issuance transaction services” , which allows banks to complete the payment processes, and provides a range of innovative technology solutions to its clients, including pre-payment solutions and loyalty programmes. The company benefits from being the sole provider of payment processing solutions in the world that is a main member of “Visa” and “MasterCard” in the UAE.
Abdulla Qassem, Chairman of Network International said: “We are excited to enter into this partnership with the two major investment banking companies globally; Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic, besides our standing partnership with Emirates NBD.”
Regarding Abraaj’s sale of its shares at Network International, Mustafa Abdul Wadud, executive partner at Abraaj Group said the company acknowledges the growth opportunities provided by Network International in the payment services sector in the region since 2011. He added that Emirates NBD and Abraaj Group played a pivotal role in the growth of the work of Network International by increasing the senior management team and diversifying the products and geographical distribution.
He further commented that the Emirates NBD and Abraaj Group facilitated the company’s access to other markets in sub-Saharan Africa, which has in turn contributed to its role in providing a solid platform that allowed Network International to achieve further growth and expansion.
Gabriel Caillaux, Managing Director of General Atlantic said: “We are pleased to cooperate with Network International as it is a leading company in the field of innovation in the fast-growing digital payment market in the Middle East and Africa.”
“We are currently witnessing a rapid growth in consumer demand for electronic payment solutions due to the increased use of the cards and the Internet, and the widespread of smart phones,” added Caillaux.
Network International enjoys a good position that qualifies it to continue its grow thanks to its constant work to simplify transactions and make them less expensive and more reliable within the full value chain, which includes banks, traders, and consumers.
Reporting by Mohamed Ahmed