Interswitch Resumes Plan to List on NSE, Hires JPMorgan

0

Emma Okonji with agency report

Interswitch, a Nigerian-based payments platform, has hired financial advisers to resume plans for listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the London Stock Exchange.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Standard Bank Group Limited are among the firms working on an initial public offering (IPO), which may value the financial technology company at $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion, according to Bloomberg report.

According to the report, lnterswitch is reviving its plans for an initial public offering, via a dual listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange later this year.

Interswitch, owned by private equity firm, Helios Investment Partners, has engaged with banks in recent weeks after a thwarted IPO attempt two years ago.

The resumed plan by Interswitch to list on NSE, is coming on the heels of MTN listing earlier in May, followed by Airtel, thus increasing the market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange by about N3 trillion.

Representatives for Helios, Interswitch, JPMorgan and Citigroup declined to comment, and Standard Bank didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment outside of regular business hours, according to Bloomberg.

In 2015, lnterswitch announced plans for a dual listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange, a move that would have made it the second Nigerian company, after Seplat to have a dual listing.

However, the ensuing exchange crisis affected the company’s plans resulting in the listing being suspended.

lnterswitch planned to list in the summer of 2017 but canceled the plans in December 2016 due to exchange rate crisis.

Foreign investors targeting for the listing had developed cold feet following the currency crisis making it difficult for the company to proceed.

The CEO of lnterswitch, Mr. Mitchell Alegbe had in 2017, assured stakeholders that plan to list the company shares were still on the table.

The resumed plan to list its shares this year, confirms earlier report of the FinTech company’s plan to list its shares on both stock exchanges.

lnterswitch is owned 70 per cent by London-based private equity group, Helios Investment Partners LLP.

Other shareholders include South Africa’s Adlevo Capital Managers LLC and the International Finance Corp, a unit of the World Bank.

Helios bought 52 per cent of lnterswitch for $96 million in December 2010, valuing the company at about $184.6 million back then.

lnterswitch is considered Nigeria’s first unicorn in the FinTech space and has dominated Nigeria’s payment channels gateway for over a decade.

In partnership with banks, lnterswitch has facilitated tens of billions in transactions volume in Nigeria.

But recently, more FinTech firms like Flutterwave and Paystack are playing increasing roles in facilitating online payments in Nigeria.

The resumed plan to list, could also pave the way for the future listing of newer companies like Flutterwave and Paystack, financial analysts said.