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Clifford Chance advises Actis on its sale of Emerging Markets Payments

3 March 2016

Clifford Chance advises Actis on its sale of Emerging Markets Payments

International law firm Clifford Chance has advised Actis, a leading growth market investor on its sale of Emerging Markets Payments (EMP), the leading Africa and Middle East payments business, to Network International.

Actis is one of the largest financial services investors in Africa with over US$1 billion invested in financial services globally and c. US$3 billion invested across African businesses overall. In July 2010, Actis established EMP as a ‘buy and build’ platform, to capitalise on increasing demand for payments infrastructure in Africa and the Middle East. Actis built the EMP group by integrating businesses with complementary products and geographic reach, and now offers the full range of payments services as part of an integrated business across the Middle East and Africa.    

Clifford Chance worked with EMP from its infancy. It was the lead advisor on EMP's first investment in July 2010, with the 100% acquisition of Mediterranean Smart Cards Company (MSCC) in Egypt. In August 2011, Clifford Chance supported EMP as it acquired 100% of Visa Jordan Cards Services (VJCS).  In February 2012, Clifford Chance again advised EMP, this time on its third acquisition of 100% of Cape Town based ACET Processing. 

Private Equity Partner Nick Hughes led the team advising Actis on its sale of EMP. Nick was supported by Associates Gareth Dray and Daniel Mutisya.

Nick Hughes comments:

"We are delighted to have supported Actis over a number of years on the creation and ultimate realisation of this 'buy and build platform'.  Actis pioneered the ‘buy and build’ strategy of creating platforms to aggregate assets into scalable regional platforms; the fragmented nature of the continent's market makes platform investments an attractive option for international private equity houses looking to invest at scale in Africa.  We are advising on an increasing number of platform investments in Africa, including in the renewable energy, education and financial services sectors, and expect this trend to continue."