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Ta Associates interswitch

Helios offloads limited stakes in Interswitch to TA Associates, expresses confidence

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Afro-centric digital services investor, Helios Investment Partners has put paid to its gradual exit plan following the sale of minority stake in Interswitch to TA Associates.

Analysts say the sale gives Helios a partial exit from its investment in the digital finance company, which it first made in 2011.

The acquirer, TA Associates announced the deal on its website, keeping mute on the financial value of the deal.

Naveen Wadhera, a Managing Director at TA Associates in the statement announcing the deal said “By strategically partnering and aligning its interests with key banks, merchants and other institutions, Interswitch has become a leading provider for payments solutions in an emerging and rapidly growing market in Nigeria.”

“Interswitch is a unique, high quality and strategic asset located in one of Africa’s leading economies. We are delighted to expand upon our longstanding presence within the global payments industry through our partnership with the management team and Helios, and look forward to helping Interswitch continue to expand its business.”

Further to the consummation of the deal, Wadhera and Ajit Nedungadi, Managing Partner at TA Associates will represent the acquirers in the Interswitch Board of Directors.

Besides, McKinsey & Company had reported that the digital payments evolution is in the early stages of development in Nigeria as the people use cash for up to 99 per cent of transactions compared to 50% for developed markets in North America and Europe.

Currently, Interswitch occupies a leading position in the emerging marketplace, especially in debit cards that comprise 99 per cent of all cards in the country.

Already, McKinsey has argued in its ‘Digital Finance for All: Powering Inclusive Growth in Emerging Economies’, that digital payments could have a huge impact on Nigeria’s gross domestic output (GDP).

It added that “Lower-income countries such as Ethiopia, India, and Nigeria have the largest potential, given their low levels of financial inclusion and digital payments today,” McKinsey said.

Interswitch was founded in 2002, enjoying significant market share in Nigeria presently. It owns and operates Verve, the country’s principal domestic credit card scheme. It also serves as a third-party transaction processor for many of Nigeria’s biggest lenders.

According to Babatunde Soyoye, Helios’s co-founder and Managing Partner “For TA Associates to have made Interswitch their first investment in Africa we believe is a testament to Interswitch’s successful growth trajectory to date, and the quality and resilience of its brand and business model. We are confident that TA’s domain expertise and global reach will benefit Interswitch as we move forward together in partnership”.

Several public and private sector institutions use Interswitch’s business-to-business (B2B) electronic payment services as well as Quickteller, the company’s business-to-consumer (B2C) bill payments and digital businesses.


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