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Network International tables $288m for DPO Group acquisition

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Network International
Network International solutions
  • Aims to accelerating growth in Africa through online payment, mobile money

  • DPO is the largest online commerce platform operating at scale across Africa

Network International Holdings plc (“Network International”), the leading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa (“MEA”), said it has entered into an agreement to acquire DPO Group (“DPO”), the leading, high-growth online commerce platform in Africa, for a total consideration of approximately USD288 million (the “Transaction”).

The consideration will be almost entirely funded through the proceeds from an equity placing representing 10.0% of the Company’s existing issued share capital, USD50 million vendor consideration shares issued to Apis Growth Fund I, managed by Apis Partners (“Apis”), USD13 million consideration shares issued to the DPO co-founders, with any small remaining balance to be funded via existing debt facilities.

DPO is the largest online commerce platform operating at scale across Africa

  • Rapid growth profile with revenue CAGR of c.40% from 2017-2019 and Total Processed Volume (“TPV”) CAGR of c.30% from 2017-2019. Revenues of USD16 million in 2019
  • Leading e-commerce and mobile money services for >47,000 merchants across high quality brands
  • Present in 19 countries across Africa with South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania representing major markets.
  • Multiple distribution channels with on the ground presence to recruit merchants, combined with direct connectivity to acquiring banks

Strong strategic fit and growth accelerator for Network International

Market: consolidates and accelerates our presence in Africa, the most underpenetrated and fast growing payments market in the world. Africa expected to represent c.40% of Network International total revenue by 2024 (27% in 2019), giving us an evenly balanced business in Africa across Merchant and Issuer Solutions

Distribution and relationships: brings direct merchant and Mobile Network Operator (“MNO”) relationships, broadening our business in Africa across the entire payments value chain

Capabilities and innovation: widens our capabilities and exposure in fast growing online payments and mobile money, enabling merchants to accept a wide range of payments methods

Cross selling opportunities: combined incremental capabilities and solutions provide significant cross-sell opportunities to both Network International and DPO customers

Disciplined capital allocation: acquisition expected to be broadly EPS neutral in 2022, including integration costs. Double digit ROCE within 3-4 years, and significantly higher thereafter

DPO has seen strong current trading, following Covid-19 lockdowns

Digital and online payments market in Africa expected to grow at 19% CAGR [1] over the next five years and Covid-19 expected to accelerate this growth

E-commerce penetration in Africa is 0.3% of private consumption, versus c.5% in the United Kingdom and c.17% in China [2]

Following stringent lockdowns in DPO’s main market of South Africa during April:

DPO signed c.4,400 merchants in June 2020, an all-time high

TPV growth year-on-year was 27% in May (57% in constant FX) and 27% in June (49% in  constant FX)

Financing and structure

DPO Co-Founders incentivised and aligned through rollover of USD13 million of their DPO ownership into Network International shares (the “Co-Founders Consideration Shares”) and a two year holding period (from the point of acquisition signing)

Acquisition consideration to be almost entirely financed through proceeds from a 10% equity placing, USD50 million vendor consideration shares issued to Apis (subject to a three month lock-up from the point of acquisition completion), and the Co-Founders Consideration Shares, with any small remaining balance funded by existing debt facilities

Completion of the Transaction is expected in Q4 2020, subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory and anti-trust

Chief Executive Officer, Simon Haslam, commented:

“We are excited by the proposed acquisition of DPO, the leading high-growth online commerce platform operating at scale across Africa. Africa is a vast and diverse continent, representing the world’s most underpenetrated, nascent and fast growing payments markets, where we have seen recent signs of an acceleration in those trends. DPO will further consolidate our presence in Africa, strengthen our position across the entire payments value chain and accelerate our growth. This acquisition will widen our capabilities across online, mobile and alternative payments; bring an extensive and diverse range of direct merchant relationships to our business; and provide a wider range of solutions for our existing customers. We look forward to bringing our two businesses together and welcoming DPO’s colleagues into our group. Together, we have a powerful combination to accelerate digital payments across our regions and deliver significant shareholder value.”

Finance

UBA denies report linking Bank, Tony Elumelu to N41bn NITEL fraud

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UBA
UBA Chairman, Tony Elumelu, following up with the proceeding during UBA's virtual AGM on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 - Photo Credit: LinkedIn/Tony Elumelu

The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has denied the report credited to the chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, alleging the bank’s involvement and the indictment of its chairman Tony Elumelu in a N41 billion Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) fraud.

NITEL

Nigerian Telecommunications LTD, NITEL office in Lagos (source: Punch/Google

According to a report by THE WITNESS, Mr Elumelu’s lawyers demanded a public apology and retraction of the claim within seven days of receipt of the letter or face legal action.

The said reports credited to Akinyelure alleged the amount was withdrawn “systematically from NITEL for nine years” under the leadership of the UBA.

“Our Client is shocked by this false, baseless, and mischievous allegation as neither him nor any of the organisations associated with him has ever been involved in or indicted for any fraud as was falsely alleged by Senator Ayo Akinyelure,” the letter by Elumelu’s lawyers read.

“Our Client is also alarmed and appalled by this deliberate peddling of falsehood and misinformation against an unblemished personal and business reputation, painstakingly built by our Client over several decades with great personal sacrifice and unquestionable integrity.

“Our Client has instructed us to, and we have demanded an immediate open, public and unreserved retraction of the said statements credited to Senator Akinyelure and an apology from Senator Akinyelure for this false allegation and defamation of our Client,” it added.

Group Managing Director/CEO of UBA, Kennedy Uzoka, is due to appear before the Senate committee on Wednesday.

[Source: The Witness]

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Fintech1000plus honours three telecom network operators, members

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Fintech1000plus

Fintech1000plus, Nigeria’s foremost informal association in the banking, financial and allied technology sector recently honoured three telecommunication companies and some of its members following their immense contributions, sacrifies and support in the association’s CSR COVID-19 intervention for the NCDC.

Leading the honours list as Fintech1000plus Heroes are; Airtel, MTN, Gobalcom, Rev. Sunday Folayan, Sola Fanawopo and other volunteers.

The awards were presented by Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director Sterling Bank plc and Omoke Adebanjo, Mastercard Senior Vice President, Regional Franchise Lead (Middle East & Africa). Both are members of Fintech1000plus.

Speaking at the virtual event which was held recently, Iyin Aboyeji, Founder Future Africa and member Fintech1000plus said, “after some weeks after COVID-19 hit the country we observed some technology challenges which the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was having. They included; inability to efficiently disseminate mass media communication & information to all mobile phones concurrently, and incidence reporting which includes; tracking, tracing and citizens action points.”

The association after discussing among its members and interacting with the NCDC decided to put together a number of front-end interfaces that will rapidly use the Covid-19 Risk Assessment triage to quickly analyze information from the public, while storing the information in a backend database for subsequent analysis and follow-up.

The front ends were made up of; Interactive Voice Response system (IVR), USSD application in major Nigerian languages, desktop tools for web-based access, and a mobile APP.

Moreover, as much as possible, make the front ends toll free or ZERO cost to the people, and for the telcos to make the portal access free for such incident response systems.

Acknowledging the outcome of the Fintech1000plus support, the Director General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, commended the association, its telecom partners and volunteers for a job well done.

“The fight against COVID-19 is not a government or public sector battle alone. But that of every stakeholder of the Nigeria project. Fintech1000plus support is well appreciated and a commendable partnership from the private sector. It is our wish that such will continue, not just during this COVID-19 pandemic but in other areas in future”, he said.

Fintech1000plus is an informal association of professionals in the financial technology sector that adopts a pragmatic approach to solving problems, especially those that impact the ability of Nigerians to do business and make payments and Settlements Electronically.

In line with its CSR activities, it played significant roles in the fight against the global Covid-19 pandemic working with NCDC.

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Finance

Zenith Bank unveils ‘Zenith Beta Life’, promo to reward customers weekly

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Zenith Bank

Zenith Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading financial institution, has commenced its “Zenith Beta Life” Promo to reward customers of the Bank with gifts every week starting from 31st July 2020 to 30th July 2021.

During this period, fifty (50) customers will be selected via raffle draw each week and rewarded with gifts worth NGN30,000.

The Promo is open to existing and new Zenith Bank customers with the following raffle qualifying criteria:

  • maintain a minimum deposit of NGN5,000 for the period;
  • request and collect a Zenith Bank Card; and
  • download and register on the Zenith Mobile App or register for *966# EazyBanking.

Zenith Bank Plc is recognised as one of the most customer-focused financial institutions in the country and was voted the most customer-focused bank in Nigeria for the retail and SME segments in the 2018 KPMG Annual Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS).

A clear leader in the digital space with several firsts in the deployment of innovative products, solutions and an assortment of alternative channels that ensure convenience, speed and safety of transactions, Zenith Bank has clearly distinguished itself in the Nigerian financial services industry through superior service quality, unique customer experience and sound financial indices.

In recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank was voted as the Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria 2019 by the World Finance and the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto and Co.

The Bank was also recognised as Bank of the Year and Best in Retail Banking at the 2019 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards.

More recently, the Bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria, for the third consecutive year, in the Banker Magazine “Top 500 Banking Brands 2020”, number one Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2020 Top 1000 World Banks” Ranking published by The Banker Magazine, Best Bank in Nigeria 2020 in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020, and Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020.

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