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Abraaj buys Network International stake

Dubai, April 11, 2011

Abraaj Capital, a leading private equity group, said it has formalised a deal to acquire a 49 per cent stake in Network International, a subsidiary of Emirates NBD bank and an independent payment solutions provider in the region.

Announcing this on Monday, Abraaj and Network International said the partnership agreement will enhance its ongoing growth and accelerate the geographic expansion of the company’s market-leading electronic payments platform.

As per the terms of the agreement, Abraaj Capital, through its unit Abraaj Financial Technologies Holdings Limited, has bought a 49 per cent stake in Network International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Emirates NBD, said a top official on the sidelines of the 'Private Equity International Middle East Forum 2011' in Dubai.

“NI has become the largest acquirer and one of the leading payments solutions providers in the region through the support of Emirates NBD, the leading bank in the region,' noted Abdulla Qassem, chairman of Network International.

Through this Abraaj deal, which will facilitate access to regional networks, help drive strategic initiatives and enhance our ability to recruit world-class talent, Network International is now uniquely positioned to expand into new markets and consolidate its status in existing ones,”Qassem noted.

“We are currently in the process of identifying a range of potential regional acquisitions, which will further strengthen our ability to offer leading-edge solutions,” he noted.

“We are extremely pleased to formalize this partnership agreement with Network International. This is a landmark transaction involving the region’s largest bank and largest private equity firm.” said Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, CEO of Abraaj Capital Limited.

“Despite the current political instability in the wider Middle East,” said Abdel-Wadood, “the success of this transaction makes clear the vibrancy of the regional electronic payments sector, particularly in the UAE, as well as our confidence in the long-term growth opportunities for NI,” he added.

“By offering our customers products and services in both the issuing and acquiring segment of the payments industry, and through our established merchant acquiring and processing partnerships with leading global brands, Network International is able to provide banks, financial institutions and retailers with complete end-to-end solutions,” said

Ram Chari, CEO of Network International said, “Our partnership with Abraaj, based on the firm’s depth of management experience and contribution to our future growth, will help allow NI to realize its long-term ambitions.”

Matteo Stefanel, senior partner, Abraaj Capital Limited, remarked, “Serving some 70 financial services institutions in the region and more than 28,000 merchant outlets, Network International has already established an extremely broad geographic footprint.'

'Based on the company’s track record of innovation, we are confident that this regional firm can become a truly global leader,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Abraaj capital | Network International | partnership agreement |

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