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Actis backs purchase of Jordan’s VJCS

16 Aug 2011

UK emerging markets investor Actis has acquired Visa Jordan Card Services Company (VJCS), Jordan’s largest debit and credit card acquirer, for $87m.

The deal marks the latest investment for Actis’ Emerging Markets Payments Holdings (EMPH) platform, which it said aims to be the leading payments business in Africa and the Middle East.

The company owns 80 per cent of the point-of-sale terminals in the country and processes all Visa point-of-sale transactions, as well as all inter-bank ATM transactions.

“The move from cash to cards is one of the most exciting developments in emerging market consumer behaviour,” said Rick Phillips, a partner at Actis.

“VJCS’s success to date is a testament to the previous owners – a syndicate of Jordanian Banks and Visa International.

“They recognised that for the next stage of growth they needed a trusted payments specialist and we are delighted they chose EMPH.

“We look forward to working with all stakeholders and VJCS’s management to unlock Jordan’s significant payments market growth potential, and to leverage VJCS’s expertise in key markets within Africa,” he added.

Last month, Actis and Thailand Equity Fund exited their investment in Asia Books through its sale to Thai healthcare company Berli Jucker Public Company.

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