Convergence partners subsidiary, inq (formerly Synergy Communications) has acquired 100 per cent stakes of Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in the African countries of Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia with an intent to further acquire that of Cameroon, pending regulatory approvals.
Speaking on the motive behind the deal, the company said it had decided to embark on the next phase of building a unified Pan-African cloud and digital service provider, bringing to market a very relevant suite of next-generation technology solutions in the fields of Edge AI, SD-WAN/NFV and Cloud.
The transaction expands inq.’s regional presence as a leading enterprise solutions provider to 12 cities in seven countries across Africa including its existing operations in Botswana, Malawi, and South Africa with additional investment in Mozambique.
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The statement quoted the Managing Director, inq. Nigeria, Valentine Chime, as saying, “Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation, and inq. is perfectly positioned to deliver intelligent connectivity through seamless delivery of cloud and digital services and technologies to our clients. We are about simpler, seamless solutions.”
Paystack acquired by Stripe for a reported $200 million in the biggest fintech acquisition in Nigeria’s history
Nigerian fintech startup, Paystack has been acquired by global fintech giant, Stripe.
PayStack, a Nigerian fintech startup, has been acquired by global fintech giant Stripe, in the biggest M&A deal in Nigerian tech and one of the biggest in Nigerian corporate history. Paystack was founded in 2016 by Ezra Olubi and Shola Akinlade.
This was disclosed in a press release seen by Nairametrics. The statement read in part:
“In order to help grow Africa’s online GDP, Stripe has entered into an agreement to acquire Paystack, a technology company based in Lagos that makes it easy for organizations of all sizes to collect payments from around the world.
“Today, more than 60,000 businesses in Nigeria and Ghana use Paystack to securely collect online and offline payments, launch new business models, and deepen customer relationships.
“Incredibly, Paystack already processes more than half of all online transactions in Nigeria.
Paystack has ambitious plans to expand across the continent and recently started a pilot with businesses in South Africa.
“Stripe and Paystack have been working closely together for some time. In 2018, Stripe led Paystack’s Series. A financing round and has provided ongoing guidance as the company rapidly scaled.”
Following the announcement, TechCrunch on Thursday afternoon reported that Stripe had raised $600 million to invest and acquire payments companies in developing nations. It disclosed that the Nigerian startup had been on Stripe’s bucket list for a while since 2018 when Stripe led an $8 million funding round for PayStack.
Paystack Co-founder Sola Akinlade told TechCrunch that the company was not up for sale when Stripe initially approached for the acquisition; however, the founders are mission-driven and believed Stripe could accelerate it. Akinlade also disclosed PayStack investors, VISA and Tencent also approached to acquire the company.
“Paystack was not for sale when Stripe approached us.
“For us, it’s about the mission. I’m driven by the mission to accelerate payments on the continent, and I am convinced that Stripe will help us get there faster. It is a very natural move,” Akinlade said.
Nairametrics reported in 2016 when Paystack raised its initial $1.3 Million Seed Funding from both international and homegrown investors.
Founders Ezra Olubi and Shola Akinlade were the toast of the tech space when their company became the first Nigerian tech startup to be accepted into the world-famous Y Combinator program, based in Silicon Valley. They obtained an initial $120,000 seed funding and further technical advice at the program.
What they are saying
Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, told TC that the deal with PayStack is an enormous opportunity, as African e-commerce grows by 30% every year, which would give Stripe an early footing in the region.
“This is an enormous opportunity,” he said.
“In absolute numbers, Africa may be smaller right now than other regions, but online commerce will grow about 30% every year. And even with wider global declines, online shoppers are growing twice as fast.
“Stripe thinks on a longer time horizon than others, because we are an infrastructure company. We are thinking of what the world will look like in 2040-2050.”
He added that Stripe is also planning on understanding the ecosystem and keep its eyes open so it can see where help is needed, as the company does not tie up its investments into “complicated strategic investments.”
Collison said that many companies depend on Stripe’s infrastructure, but with PayStack, the founders have organic input in running their operations.
Stripe said the announcement of the acquisition was delayed due to the #EndSARS protests across the country.
“A lot of companies have been, let’s say, heavily influenced by Stripe.
“But with Paystack, clearly they’ve put a lot of original thinking into how to do things better. There are some details of Stripe that we consider mistakes, but we can see that Paystack ‘gets it’. It’s clear from the site and from the product sensibilities, and that has nothing to do with them being in Africa or African.”
Shola Akinlade said the payments ecosystem is still broken and PayStack is still in its early days. PayStack provides payments API for companies and takes a cut from every transaction. The company has 60,000 customers so far, from SMEs to large cooperation,s and would continue to run independently.
Techcrunch said the full terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, TC confirmed that it is worth over $200 million, making it the largest tech acquisition in Nigerian corporate history.
What you should know
According to Crunchbase, PayStack has raised $11.7 million so far.
London Stock Exchange seals $5billion Borsa Italiana sale
The sale is aimed at dousing tensions amidst growing concerns over LSE control of the European Bond market.
In what appears to be a landmark trade deal, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) has agreed to a €4.3 billion ($5.1 billion) with Euronext to sell Borsa Italiana. This is according to insider sources from both firms.
If successful, the deal would bring LSE a step closer to clinching approval for its $27 billion purchase of Refinitiv, which is 45% owned by Thomas Reuters. The sale is aimed at dousing tensions amidst growing concerns over LSE control of the European Bond market.
This is corroborated in a statement by London Stock Exchange Chief Executive, David Schwimmer, “We believe the sale of the Borsa Italiana group will contribute significantly to addressing the EU’s competition concerns,”
Recall earlier that LSE had entered exclusive talks with Euronext last month after the Paris bourse owner saw off competition from Deutsche Boerse DB1Gn.DE and Swiss rival SIX. The deal presents an opportunity for Euronext to expand its equity operations, while it presents an opportunity for LSE to recoup the €1.6.
The deal will afford Euronext the opportunity to commence its first fixed income training via Borsa’s bond trading platform MTS.
Commenting on the deal, the CEO of Euronext, Stephane Boujnah said “Euronext will significantly diversify its revenue mix and its geographical footprint by welcoming the market infrastructure of Italy, a G7 country and the third-largest economy in Europe.”
How will the deal be funded?
Euronext with a market value of around 7 billion euros, might not be able to pull an outright cash deal without a sizeable amount of debt instruments. Hence, the firm plans to issue 1.8 billion euros in debt and raise 2.4 billion euros in new equity to fund it.
To raise funds and specifically secure the Italian government’s support, Euronext collaborated with state agency Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and Italy’s biggest bank Intesa SanPaolo, who will subscribe to 700 million euros of Euronext’s equity issue.
Guinness Nigeria’s parent company acquires Hollywood actor, Ryan Reynolds’ Gin brand
Guinness Nigeria’s parent company has acquired a gin brand co-owned by actor, Ryan Reynolds.
Diageo Holdings Plc, the world’s largest spirits maker has completed the acquisition of Aviation American Gin and its parent company Davos brands, co-owned by Hollywood star actor Ryan Reynolds.
This disclosure is contained in a press release by the company, which was seen by Nairametrics.
The acquisition of Aviation Gin LLC and its parent company, Davos Brands LLC, cements Diageo as the world’s largest gin brand in the world.
The total consideration of the acquisition is put at $610 million, which includes an initial payment of $335 million and a further potential consideration of up to $275 million, based on the performance of Aviation American Gin over a ten-year period. This, however, reflects the brand’s current growth trajectory and expected upside potential.
The Management of Diageo Holdings Plc, said that the acquisition supports the company’s participation in the super-premium gin segment in the US, and is in line with the company’s strategy to acquire “high growth brands with attractive margins,” which supports its premiumization ambitions.
Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive officer of Diageo said; “We are confident that Aviation American Gin will continue to shape and drive the growth of super-premium gin in North America, and we are looking forward to working with Ryan Reynolds and the Davos Brands team to accelerate future growth.”
Aviation American Gin is an American style gin crafted with a blend of botanicals, with subtle juniper notes, delivering a smooth balanced flavor profile. The brand has thrived under the leadership of its majority owner, Davos Brands, and the creative direction of co-owner Ryan Reynolds, who will retain an ongoing ownership interest in Aviation American Gin.
Through this acquisition, Diageo is also acquiring the other brands in the Davos Brands’ portfolio, consisting of Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal, and TYKU Sake.
Fact: Diageo Overseas Holdings Limited, is the parent organization of Guinness Overseas Limited. Guinness Overseas Limited, as of 30 June 2020, owned 50.18% of the issued share capital of Guinness Nigeria Plc.