Visa to acquire ‘significant stake’ in Nigeria’s Interswitch

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Visa Incorporated says it has concluded plans to acquire a ‘significant’ stake in a Nigerian payments platform, Interswitch, Reuters quoted the Nigeria-based digital payments firm on Tuesday.

The deal which reportedly involves 20 per cent stake valued at about $200 million, would successfully raise the company’s global valuation to $1 billion, launching into the exclusive status among the “unicorn” players in the Fintech-space for companies.

Although the Nigerian firm confirmed the deal, it did not make its financial statement available.

“The investment makes Interswitch one of the most valuable African Fintech businesses with a valuation of $1 billion,” Interswitch said in a release quoted by TechCrunch.

The Visa investment could create the first of two market distinctions for Interswitch — as it shouldn’t change the Lagos-based company’s plans to go public.

Despite the deal, the company said it does not change its plan to undertake an initial public offer (IPO) sometime in the first half of 2020.

Interswitch could stand as Africa’s sole tech-unicorn, as Jumia’s volatile share-price and declining market-cap since an April IPO have dropped the company’s worth below $1 billion.


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