Africa-focused private equity group Helios Investment Partners has reached an agreement with the shareholders of Nigerian payment processor InterSwitch to acquire a majority stake in the company.
InterSwitch provides broker solutions for financial transactions, eCommerce, telecoms value-added services, eBilling, payment collections, and also administers high-security card service Verve.
The Verve card is issued by 16 out of the 24 banks in Nigeria and is currently the only chip-and-pin card accepted across multiple payment channels including Automated Teller Machine (ATMs), Point of Sale (POS) terminals, online, for mobile transactions, and at banks.
InterSwitch is the only switching and processing company connected to all banks in the country as well as over 10,000 ATMs and 11,000 POS terminals.
InterSwitch also processes transactions for MasterCard and is developing merchant acquiring/POS services, a segment which is still emerging in Nigeria.
The completion of the switch-over from magnetic strip cards to chip-and-pin cards in 2010, is expected to further accelerate growth and usage of e-payments across the country. Nigeria is the first country in Africa to have completed this switch.
“InterSwitch is a Nigerian success story, benefiting from the foresight, innovation and support of its founding shareholders, and a supportive regulator in the Central Bank Nigeria.” said Babatunde Soyoye, managing partner and co-founder of Helios.
Helios pursues a range of investment types, including business formations, growth equity investments, structured investments in listed entities and large leveraged acquisitions across Africa.
Adlevo Capital, a technology-oriented private equity firm focused on Africa, will be co-investing with Helios on this transaction.
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