It is being reported that Visa, the global card payments company, is engaged in negotiations that are at an advanced stage to acquire a stake in Nigeria’s Interswitch, a company that is focussed on the digitization of payments in Nigeria and other African countries. The deal is said to involve Visa paying $200 million to buy a 20% stake in Interswitch, taking the Nigerian FinTech company’s valuation to $1 billion.
The negotiations between Visa and Interswitch come before the anticipated IPO (Initial Public Offering) of the FinTech giant on the London Stock Exchange in 2020. Both Interswitch and Visa have not responded to requests for confirmation and comment on the rumored deal at the time of publishing.
In this episode of The Tefo Mohapi Show, Bankole Oluwafemi talks about how Interswitch was once too slow to innovate and eventually engaged Nigerian developers and started becoming an innovative FinTech company.
What makes the Interswitch potential IPO next year even more interesting, besides Visa looking to buy 20% of equity in the company, is that the FinTech company is already profitable. This is quite different from the IPO of Jumia which listed on the New York Stock Exchange earlier in 2019 despite not being profitable and possibly looking to raise more money from the public market and boost its valuation.
What is likely to happen is that Helios Investment Partners, the single largest shareholder in Interswitch, could possibly sell some of its shares after the IPO to lock in some profits.