Wednesday, 21 December 2016

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Interswitch Delays IPO over FX Supply Concerns

inter-switch
Interswitch Limited, which processes payments for banks and owns a brand of debit cards in Nigeria, suspended plans to raise as much as $1 billion in an initial public offering as investors fret over further potential weakness in the naira and a shortage of foreign currency.
The company, which operates in five African countries, said last year it met with banks including Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc and Standard Bank Group Limited about a potential 2016 share sale in Lagos and London.
The IPO would have enabled London-based private equity group Helios Investment Partners LLP, a shareholder, to return some money to investors, Interswitch Chief Executive Officer Mitchell Elegbe, told Bloomberg in an interview.
“The macroeconomic situation in Nigeria is the determining factor’’ in delaying the plans, Elegbe said.
Potential investors are “jittery’’ about the naira exchange rate and whether they will be able to buy foreign-exchange to get their money out of the West African country, he said.
A deal leading to a dual listing in London and Lagos could value Interswitch at more than $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said in February. While Interswitch will revisit the IPO plans, its focus now will be on expansion, targeting two East African countries to add to operations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Gambia, Elegbe said, without giving details.

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