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Brookfield offers $2.76bn for UAE payment provider

Payment provider digital payment Unsplash/Blake Wisz
Network International provides payment to services for more than 150,000 retailers
  • Canada’s Brookfield makes bid for Network International
  • Price was a 64% premium on the pre-offer share value
  • Brookfield manages $5bn of assets in Middle East

Brookfield Asset Management is set to buy digital payments provider Network International in a deal worth £2.2 billion ($2.76 billion), as part of its expansion across the Middle East and Africa.

The Canadian investment firm has tabled an offer of 400 pence per share for the UAE-based company – a premium of 64 percent from Network’s closing price on April 12, the last business day before the start of the offer period.

The offer was a counter to a 387 pence per share bid from private equity firms CVC Capital and Francisco Partners.

Brookfield said London-listed Network International represents “a strong strategic fit with its investment focus”.

The deal will be financed by a combination of equity investment, with Brookfield Business Partners expected to invest as much as $150 million, the statement added.

Brookfield has been an active investor in the Middle East with over $5 billion in assets under management. 

A subsidiary last year acquired control of First Abu Dhabi Bank’s Magnati payments unit in a deal valued at $1.15 billion.

Network directors will recommend unanimously that its shareholders vote in favour of the deal.

The largest payment processing firm in the Middle East, Network reported a 42 percent rise in net profit for 2022 to more than $80 million, with revenue growth of 25 percent to $438 million.

Network operates through two divisions: merchant services provides solutions that allow businesses to accept digital payments from consumers; and outsourced payment services, for which the majority of revenue is delivered through issuer processing, with a small contribution from acquirer processing.

The company operates in more than 50 markets across the Middle East and Africa, focusing on the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Africa and Jordan.

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