Payments giant Network International launches £2.3 billion London flotation

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London is gearing up for its biggest flotation this year after payments giant Network International picked the capital over Dubai for a potential $3 billion (£2.3 billion) float. 

The Middle East-focused firm expects to float next month in a major boost for London, which has witnessed a dearth of companies coming to market this year as Brexit uncertainty bites. 

This week legal firm DWF came to market with a £366 million valuation, but this deal far outstrips that.  

Chief executive Simon Haslam said: “We have picked London because of the strong investor base, good corporate governance and the amount of emerging funds that are based here. 

“Of course we’ll be watching how Brexit develops but most of our business is done outside the EU, in the Middle East and Africa, and so it doesn’t really affect us.” 

Haslam added that the company has already been around the City, having a number of meetings with large institutional investors. “The meetings have gone well. They are excited about the uniqueness of the business,” he said.

Network International has also appointed industry veteran and former Worldpay chief executive Ron Kalifa as chairman. Kalifa is one of the best-known figures in the payments industry, having led Worldpay for more than a decade.  

A raft of banks have been hired to work on the IPO. Citigroup is the lead adviser, while Goldman, JPMorgan, Emirates NBD Capital, Morgan Stanley and Barclays are acting as bookrunners.

Network International was founded in 1994 and focuses on processing payments in Africa and the Middle East. Last year the company generated $298 million in revenue, and posted earnings of $152 million. 

Payments-processing companies have been highly sought after in recent years as people, particularly in Africa, switch to digital from cash. 

Africa has the world’s fastest-growing population with an emerging middle class and large young population.

Network International services more than 70,000 merchant partners and 200 financial institutions across 55 countries.

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March 15, 2019 |
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