Interswitch, VANSO in N15 Billion Nigeria Acquisition Deal

March 30, 2016


Interswitch has acquired VANSO Limited, a premium financial technology solutions provider with a footprint in mobile payments, banking and messaging platforms, in a N15 billion deal that would further deepen the contribution of electronic payments to the Nigerian economy.

The deal is currently awaiting the official seal of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to be finalised.
As more Nigerians find the use of electronic payments more secure and convenient, the country has seen a boom in the value of electronic payments which totaled N39.551 trillion ($198 billion) in 2015 even as a recent study conducted by Moody’s Analytics from 2011-2015, indicated that electronic payments contributed a total of $640m (N128billion) to Nigeria’s GDP.

Investigations by our reporters indicate that the partnership between Interswitch and VANSO, which cost the former of N15billion and the retention of founders of VANSO, Denis O’Brien and Idris Alubankudu Saliu on the management of what has become Interswitch’s subsidiary, will have significant impact on the efficiency and reliability of electronic payments and ultimately, the economy. The company was founded in 2004 after Saliu returned to Nigeria having graduated from Columbia University in the United States.

Interswitch, founded in 2001 by CEO Interswitch its CEO Mitchell Elegbe with support from Techinvest Limited, Accenture and a consortium of seven Nigerian banks to address the need for a nationwide electronic funds transfer, transaction processing and switching entity in the country. The Company has become the leading switching entity with about the majority of Nigeria’s e-payment transactions routed through its payments switching infrastructure.

A measure of the success of Interswitch in the Nigerian e-payment space was its ability to raise a total of $106.5m in equity financing for 67 per cent ownership from Helios Investment Partners ($96m for 52 per cent) and Adlevo Capital/IFC ($10.5 for 15 per cent) in 2011.

Currently valued at close to $1billion, the company is expanding its footprint beyond just e-payments and looking to add value added services to its product offering especially as news is rife of an upcoming plan to take the company public in Nigeria and London.

If this is done, Interswitch will be the second Nigerian company this feat of dual listing, coming after the 2014 listing of Seplat Petroleum Development Company plc on the LSE. Source: Equities