Interswitch investors to get $110m from I5% sell down

Helios, Visa, and other investors in Interswitch will get $110 million after selling down 15 percent of their total holdings in the company to Leapfrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital.

The investment which was announced on Wednesday by the new investors takes the number of Interswitch investors to five, including, Helios which own 2 two-third of the company, Visa which bought a 20 percent stake in the company, Leapfrog Investments, Tana Africa Capital and other investors stocks.

According to the company, the selldown is to expand the investor base and not a loss of confidence by the private equity firm Helios.

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“Normally, private equity firms invest and exit after five years but Helios has stayed longer than that,” a source told BusinessDay.

In 2010, Helios Investment Partners announced that it has acquired two-thirds stake in InterSwitch. At the time the payment company had just completed the switch-over from magnetic strip cards to chip-and-pin cards in 2010.

In 2019, Visa also announced that it has acquired 10 percent equity worth $200 million in Interswitch. That investment took the valuation of the payment company to $1 billion making it the first unicorn in the fintech industry in Africa.

Interswitch is targeting an initial public offering outside Nigeria. The source said the plan is still on the table and may happen when Helios decides to completely exit the company.

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