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DEAL: Visa to acquire 20% stake in Interswitch, valuing it at $1 billion 

Visa is thought to be paying $200 million, valuing Interswitch at about N1 trillion. Helios bought 52 percent of Interswitch for $96 million in Dec. 2010. 

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Verve, DEAL: Visa to acquire 20% stake in Interswitch, valuing it at $1 billion 

Visa is set to acquire a 20% stake in Interswitch, a deal which will see Interswitch become Africa’s latest technology ‘unicorn’. Visa is thought to be paying $200 million, valuing Interswitch at about $1 billion (N360 billion). Helios bought 52 percent of Interswitch for $96 million in Dec. 2010. 

Interswitch reportedly generates annual revenue of N30 billion, suggesting that the current value is about 10x its current revenues. Interswitch is also now valued higher than FBNH (N208 billion), UBA (N225 billion) and Access Bank (N327 billion). Zenith Bank still owns a 5% stake in Interswitch and is currently valued at N538.4 billion. 

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According to SkynewsVisa and Interswitch are in advanced talks about a transaction that could be announced this week.

Snippets of Interswitch Results.

Interswitch reported a profit after tax of N5.3 billion in 2018 and has an impressive EBITDA margin of 43%.

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The deal: According to the report, the move by Visa to acquire a 20% stake is targeted at becoming a cornerstone investor in Interswitch ahead of the company’s prospective initial public offering (IPO) in London next year.  

  • Recall, in an earlier article published on Nairametrics, it was reported that Interswitch has revived its plans for an initial public offering, via a dual listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange 
  • According to the report, Interswitch has hired financial advisers, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Standard Bank Group, as firms working on the potential initial public offering. 
  • Firms typically hire financial advisers when they decide to list on the stock market to help with valuation, marketing of the offer, compliance with listing rules, and other regulatory filings. 

A competitive move: While Visa’s move to acquire a 20% stake in Interswitch is largely connected to the planned IPO, this is also a move by the company to make a strong statement against its closest rival, MasterCard 

  • Earlier in the year, MasterCard had invested $300m in Dubai-based Network International ahead of its stock market debut in London. Network International, is the largest payment processor in Africa and the Middle East.  
  • The rush to build stakes in African businesses by Visa and MasterCard is being driven by a desire to take advantage of established platforms in markets that are both fast-growing and under-penetrated. 
  • Interswitch is considered Nigeria’s first unicorn in the Fintech space and has dominated Nigeria’s payment channels gateway for over a decade.  
  • It is also one of the largest Africa-focused electronic payments and infrastructure companies, with point-of-sale terminals, online consumer payment platforms and its own card, Verve. 
  • Hence, Interswitch’s move to cede a 20% stake to Visa is a huge competitive move to increase its market penetration.  

 [READ: Interswitch reignites plans to launch IPO in 2019] 

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Verve, a Nigerian Pan-African financial technology and payment card brand owned by Interswitch Group, is the biggest domestic debit card scheme in Africa, with more than 19 million cards active on its network. Hence, an investment by Visa will facilitate the formation of a strategic partnership to target the fast-growing African digital payment market. 

Recently, more Fintech firms like Flutterwave and Paystack have been playing increasing roles in facilitating online payments in Nigeria. The 20% stake acquisition by Visa also implies that Interswitch is going all out to increase its dominance within Nigeria’s Fintech space. 

Interswitch is about 70 percent-held by London-based private equity group Helios Investment Partners LLP, South Africa’s Adlevo Capital Managers LLC and the International Finance Corp., a unit of the World Bank.

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Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously valued Interswitch at N1 trillion instead of $ 1billion. The error has now been corrected.

Patricia

Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. George C Thorpe

    November 12, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    I would have thought this company would be valued at close to 5x this value, noting the potential for growth and the fact that it is already profitable. Similar fintech’s in other developing market do not the synergies and entrenched position that Interswitch has in the financial eco-system. When we compare this with the fact that a large proportion of the population is either unbanked or underbanked, EBITDA for Interswitch could rise significantly in the future.

    Is country risk impairing valuation here or the fact that funding rounds have not been as sexy as Fintech’s like GoJek? Perhaps its both.

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Hospitality & Travel

FAAN releases new guidelines for post COVID-19 flight operations

The new set of procedural guidelines for air travelers and other airport users is aimed at protecting all.

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FAAN reacts to release of guideline for resumption of flight operations post covid-19, FAAN releases new guidelines for post covid-19 flight operations

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigerian (FAAN), has released a new set of procedural guidelines for air travelers and other airport users. This follows the announcement of the Federal Government, the gradual commencement of domestic flight operations at the nation’s airports with effect from July 8, 2020.

This new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is aimed at protecting all stakeholders and preventing further spread of the coronavirus disease, especially through our airports.

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This was disclosed in a press statement by FAAN on Friday, July 3, 2020, and signed by the agency’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu.

According to the procedures that have been outlined by FAAN in the “New Normal”, departing passengers must comply with the following guidelines;

  • All passengers must arrive at the airport properly kitted with their face masks on.
  • They must also ensure a minimum of one point five meters (1.5m) physical distancing, Aviation Medical/Port Health personnel would screen each passenger and ensure the use of face masks, those traveling with pets must get necessary clearance from Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services.
  • All passengers’ luggage would be disinfected before entry into the departure halls.
  • Passengers are required to wash their hands as often as possible, hand sanitizer would be provided for passengers before entrance, at the waiting halls/lounges and pre-boarding gates.
  • All footwear would be disinfected/sanitized by foot mats placed at all entrances to the terminal building, amongst others.

(READ MORE: FG acquires profiling robots for airport)

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For arriving passengers, the following guidelines must be adhered to;

  • On disembarking from the aircraft, passengers would observe physical distancing as they board the Co-Buses (Hand Sanitizer would be provided in the buses).
  • Physical distancing protocols must be observed at the baggage claim area, where hand sanitizer is also provided, disinfected trolleys would be made available for passengers.
  • All Covid-19 protocols must be observed while undergoing customs check, Passengers would exit the halls and head straight to the car park for pick up.
  • If you must speak to anyone around, please speak to a properly tagged Aviation Security (AVSEC) officer, physical distancing would be maintained while waiting to be screened by personnel of port health services, amongst others.
  • In addition to the above guidelines, passengers are required to observe social distancing and make use of the floor markings at the security screening area. They must also comply with all other security guidelines as laid down by officials of the Aviation Security (AVSEC) department.

FAAN asked all passengers and stakeholders to observe these new protocols that have been put in place for their protection.

 

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Patricia
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Corporate Press Releases

First Bank’s FMAP graduates inuagural set of management associates

FMAP is a comprehensive developmental programme targeted at young, dynamic, highly driven individuals.

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider,  has graduated 28 successful candidates in its inaugural FirstBank Management Associates Programme (FMAP), virtually held on Tuesday, 30 June 2020 via the Zoom video-conferencing application. The programme which commenced in 2018 had a total of 48 candidates selected from thousands of entries and applications received nationwide.

FMAP is a 24-month fast-track comprehensive developmental programme targeted at young, dynamic, self-motivated and highly driven individuals that possess the right skill set and excellent leadership potential among Junior and entry-level cadre staff. Entries and applications for the programme enrolment was also extended to the public

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Speaking about the programme, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank said “It is an intensive skill development programme structured to enhance acute thinking, financial, methodical skills of staff. The bank would continue to reinvest in its human capital to create a kind of leadership needed for future growth and development.”

“This is part of the Bank’s strategic objectives of infusing and developing leadership at requisite levels across its staff hierarchy, aimed at building the next generation of leaders who will be groomed to drive the Bank’s vision of being Africa’s Bank of first choice,” he concluded.

READ MORE: FirstBank takes its SMEs Business Clinic to Port-Harcourt, Abuja

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At the end of the programme, successful candidates are moved to middle management, becoming Management Associates irrespective of their grades at the point of entry.

Cross country postings and secondment opportunities are also offered to such staff to provide them with global exposure and network.

 

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About FirstBank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 125 years.

With over 750 business locations and over 57,000 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 15 million customers. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

The Bank has been nimble at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10million cards, the first bank to achieve such milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 9million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 3 million people on FirstMobile platform.

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Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is to always put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is to always deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

 

Folake Ani-Mumuney

Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications

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www.firstbanknigeria.com

 

Patricia
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Economy & Politics

Apapa Command’s revenue rises 10.59% to N227.3 billion in the first half of 2020 – Customs 

Abba-Kura also praised the Customs Service for its achievements in spite of multiple challenges.

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Nigerian Customs: Apapa Command recorded N40.6 billion FoB in 2019

The Nigerian Customs Service announced on Thursday that its revenue for the Apapa Command rose by 10.59% from the previous year as it has generated N227.3 billion during the first half of 2020. 

While disclosing this, the Customs Area Controller, Mohammed Abba-Kura said, “There has been a steady improvement in revenue collection all through the half-year except for the month of May which recorded a decline of about 3.531 billion, when compared between year 2019 and 2020. The command in the half-year of 2019 collected a total sum of N203.264 billion as customs duty and other charges like seven percent surcharge, Value Added Tax, one percent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) among others. 

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 “From January to June this year, the command collected a huge sum of N227,347,046,233.53, which represents an increase of N24,082,991,550.84 or 10.59 percent increase from the previous year.” 

READ MORE: Court slams N5 million fine on Nigeria Customs Service for collecting duty on personal effects

According to NAN, Abba-Kura also praised the Customs Service for its achievements in spite of multiple challenges they have faced this year. 

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In spite of all challenges, the Apapa Area Command has maintained its tempo at ensuring that maximum revenue is collected in addition to trade facilitation and suppression of smuggling, he said.  

The Area Controller further disclosed that the Command seized 142 containers of various items during the period. The seizures were related to smuggling and were seized pursuant to sections 46 and 48 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) which enforces laws related to forfeiture of goods that are illegally imported. 

The seized goods ranged from luxury cars like Rolls Royce 2018 and a 2019 Lamborghini Hurricane. Others include pharmaceuticalsriceclothes, assorted foodstuffand other materials. 

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Meanwhile, in terms of exports, the value of exported products so far is about N52,369,506,770.90 – Free on Board Value, mainly Agricultural produce and Mineral resources. 

READ MORE: Even with a 939% jump in H1 Profit, Neimeth still needs to build consistency

Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic has inevitably affected the operations of the Command this year.

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According to Abba-Kura, “ten of our men in Apapa command got infected with COVID-19 and were sent to the isolation centre and as at today, they are all well now and we appreciate the Lagos State government and doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital for their help.”  

Note that the Customs revenue growth comes at a time of declining revenue for Nigeria, even as the Federal Government’s debt service as a percentage of revenue rose to 99% in the first quarter of 2020. Therefore, it is a good development. 

Nairametrics reported the country earned N950.5 billion in revenue compared to a prorated budget of N1.9 trillion, representing a whopping shortfall of 52%.  Oil revenue was N464 million representing a shortfall of 30% when compared to budget while non-oil revenue was N269 billion representing a shortfall of 40% in the first quarter of 2020. 

Patricia
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