Emirates NBD affiliate Network International seeks London listing

Network International, the biggest payment processing company in the Middle East and Africa, plans to list a 25 per cent stake through an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange.

Existing shareholders of the Dubai-headquartered company will sell down their shareholding in the offer, the company said in a statement on Thursday. It is 49 per cent held by private equity firm Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic and majority held by Dubai’s biggest lender, Emirates NBD, according to Bloomberg, which previously reported that the firm could be valued at about $3 billion (Dh11bn).

The company is seeking listing on the main equities market in London and expects that “it would be eligible for inclusion in FTSE UK indices”, it said, without providing a timeline of the potential IPO or how much it plans to raise from the offering.

“Today’s announcement is an exciting next step in our journey,” Simon Haslam, chief executive of Network International, said. “Our markets of Middle East and Africa are some of the most exciting in the world and are only just beginning the journey from cash to digital payments.”

Middle East companies are increasingly looking to list shares on the London Stock Exchange amid lacklustre trading in the local equities markets. The London bourse is home to Abu Dhabi’s NMC Health and Gulf Marine Services. Al Noor Hospitals Group also listed its shares in London in 2013 before it was bought by Mediclinic.

Network International group revenues have registered a compound annual growth rate of 13 per cent, from $235 million in 2016 to $298m at the end of last year. Its underlying net income climbed to $97.95m in 2018 from $91.762m at the end of 2017.

“The group’s business model is underpinned by a strong customer base, and has a high proportion of recurring revenues, with 93 per cent of [its] revenues in 2018 being recurring in nature,” the company said, adding that it has minimal currency risk as more than 96 per cent of the revenues last year were US dollar-denominated or dollar-pegged.

Updated: March 15, 2019 01:31 AM