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MAX.ng issues $22m bond to grow financing for 2, 3-wheelers

Metro Africa Xpress (MAX.ng), the leading mobility platform in Nigeria and West Africa, has announced the successful issuance of a N400-million 1-year fixed-rate notes (the N400m Series 1 Bond) under its newly structured N10bn/$22m Private Company Bond programme (PCB Programme).

The N400 million Series 1 Bond is MAX.ng’s first-ever bond issuance and the first bond issued by a mobility company in Africa. Despite the challenging global economic backdrop, the Bond, distributed through a private placement, received strong interest from highly reputable local and international fixed-income investors that are seeking exposure to a high-quality issuer like MAX.

The Series 1 Bond is the first issuance under MAX’s multi-currency N10 billion ($22m) PCB Programme, which was structured in line with our mission to build the technology and financing infrastructure for mobility across Africa. Proceeds from the Bond shall be used to fund MAX’s growing asset financing programme across two-wheeler, three-wheeler and other vehicle classes in Nigeria and beyond, as MAX continues to institutionalise driver financing across the continent.

The transaction and the PCB programme were both arranged by DLM Advisory (DLM), a Nigeria-based SEC-regulated full-service developmental investment bank that combines advisory, origination, underwriting and distribution capabilities. DLM has built a successful track record of structuring, participating in and delivering bespoke and innovative capital raising solutions to sovereign entities as well as public and private organisations.

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Adetayo Bamiduro, CEO/co-founder of MAX.ng, said, “MAX is extremely pleased with the successful Bond issuance, which reflects the market confidence in MAX’s mission, strategy and execution capabilities. This is further evidence that MAX remains at the forefront of technology, financial and business model innovation to solve a fundamental aspect of Africans’ lives.”

Similarly, Chinedu Azodoh, chief growth officer/co-founder of MAX.ng, said, “The fully integrated and innovative nature of MAX’s DVC (driver-vehicle-collection) technology stack was essential to demonstrating our ability to scale and manage an ever-growing pool of financed drivers across six cities with unmatched efficiency, speed and agility. This funding was delivered on the basis of those proprietary technology capabilities that enable heightened levels of portfolio scrutiny and monitoring. These were fundamental to successfully closing this trailblazing transaction.”

Likewise, Sonnie Ayere, group CEO of DLM Capital Group, said, “This is a bold step in advancing DLM’s developmental driven mandate by providing innovative solutions to meet the funding needs of players in key sectors of the economy, through the capital markets. MAX has positioned itself at the forefront of its industry with its unique business model that deploys technology to cater to the peculiarity of mobility within Nigeria’s major cities.

“In addition to this, the MAX funding programme has played positively in the aspect of employment creation. Given the average cost of the vehicles financed, the capital unlocked through the Series 1 Bond will lead to the creation of close to 1,400 additional jobs, which in turn has a positive multiplier effect on the Nigerian economy.

“As a developmental Investment Bank committed to creating direct impacts to the lives of people, we have put our money where our mouth is and have taken a credit decision to support their inaugural issuance, due to its strong credit fundamentals and the social and economic impact it brings. We are delighted to have assisted MAX on this significant stride.”

According to Guy-Bertrand Njoya, chief financial officer of MAX.ng, “Most exciting for us about this ground-breaking funding structure is being able to close it amid the current social and economic uncertainty.

“We are deeply honoured by the confidence shown by the investment community in our ability to continue leveraging access to wholesale finance as well as other internal capabilities – including proprietary technology solutions, exclusive vehicle manufacturer deals, low-cost credit, discounted insurance and other financial services – to serve the growing group of overlooked, underserved, unbanked or under-banked Africans like it has never been done before.”

For Emeka Ngene, head of DLM Advisory, “This is in keeping with the vision of the DLM brand. With a commitment to increasingly deepen the penetration of the domestic capital markets with every new project we undertake, delivering this assignment for MAX further helps in driving that concept.

“It will be good to also make special mention of the team at the Shell Foundation who played a key role in the delivery of this mandate by the provision of catalytic capital. At DLM, we have always believed that local currency funding is the way to go for businesses like MAX with significant impact potential. Our hope now is that the success of this deal further paves the way for more collaboration towards providing similar solutions for other businesses with clear development objectives.”

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