BusinessDay

Chams Plc transits to a Holding Company, increases shareholder value

Chams Plc, Nigeria’s indigenous fintech and digital payments solutions Group has transitioned into a holding company having changed its Nigerian Exchange (NGX) listing over 37 years after being founded.

“Chams Plc started the process in 2021 to meet requirements for the renewal and recapitalization of our Mobile Money and Switching payment licenses. Part of the requirements of the Central Bank of Nigeria was for Chams to change its listing to a non-operating holding company, which we have now successfully achieved. This change takes immediate effect and we will now be known as Chams Holding Company PLC,” Gavin Young, Group Managing Director, Chams Plc, said.

Although the migration to a HoldCo was a major component of its Consumer-Africa-Digital (CAD) 2024 Unicorn vision, led by Demola Aladekomo, founder and Chairman, and Board of Directors in 2020, the company says 2022 is a major year for the now Chams Holding Company.

Also, the need came from the mandate by the Central Bank of Nigeria, as Chams Plc is the majority stakeholder in two major Central Bank of Nigeria payment licences via its subsidiaries ChamsSwitch Limited and ChamsMobile Limited.

“Listing as a Holding Company means that we are focussing on our existing subsidiaries and business assets to build shareholder value, while incubating and growing other businesses within our subsidiaries, and also creating new subsidiaries as part of the Holding Company structure.

“The Group has focussed primarily on growing its consumer and business digital payment solutions while also expanding other potential and current investments in the digital space, to ensure sustainable value for our stakeholders. All our businesses have returned improved performances, promising growth and good value, and we are working hard to ensure this continues,” Young said.

For businesses that Chams Plc was incubating and growing, the company stated that it had created a separate company for its start-up Education Finance digital solution (Studiez) and moved another start-up digital business to an existing subsidiary where the businesses were complementary. Studiez is currently in partnership with eight schools whereby students can access funds to further their education.

Read also: How high operating expenses compound Chams’ woes

Two fintech payment subsidiaries in the Chams Group, which recently recapitalised- ChamsSwitch and ChamsMobile are said to have increased value significantly for shareholders and it is expected that both companies will be major contributors to the prosperity of the Chams Group as they continue to grow rapidly in the Fintech Payments space.

“In our concerted efforts to rapidly grow our financial inclusion services through Mobile wallets and agent financial services, ChamsMobile recapitalised to N2 billion, acquired and implemented systems and operational infrastructure, and commenced the roll-out of our KEGOW Mobile Money wallets and Financial Agent services strategy towards being a leading Mobile money Fintech payments company, providing consumer and SME mobile digital payment services across Africa,” Mayowa Olaniyan, MD, ChamsMobile Ltd, said.

Likewise, ChamsSwitch Ltd also recapitalized during 2021 and substantially increased their transactional payment volumes. According to the company, this resulted in a significant increase in its value. ChamsAccess Ltd also introduced some new digital solutions which are showing rapid growth including PensionCentral.

“Our primary focus is financial payments processing, B2B and B2C financial transactions and added-value financial services. Our growth in financial processing and payments switching businesses during 2021 has been very encouraging and we have seen a significant increase in Chams’ share value in the company. We have certified as an issuer processor for Union Pay International (UPI) and will soon commence UPI card processing for a major bank in Nigeria,” Emmanuel Ojo, MD, ChamsSwitch Ltd, said.

With the recent ban on the importation of SIM cards imposed by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, another subsidiary, Card Centre Nig. Limited. expanded and diversified their business and secured a major international partnership which culminated in the installation of new SIM card infrastructure and acquiring substantial SIM card business.

“We have installed significant additional SIM card production and personalisation infrastructure and have secured a major local contract. We have also introduced a new financial services card chip into the local market as part of our strategy to grow the financial card business, and this has attracted major orders from local banks. This will contribute to our improved performance and sustainable value for stakeholders,” Lekan Latona, COO, Card Centre Limited, said.

Giving account of ChamsAccess’ market impact, Dumebi Obodo, MD of the subsidiary stated that: “ChamsAccess introduced some new innovative digital solutions in 2021, including its new Pension Central digital platform, which has over 300 major customers on the platform and have processed over N4 billion in transaction value.

Chams says it has remained committed to its long-term strategic ambitions and are pleased with the progress made in driving Fintech and other digital assets, as well as ensuring the Group is well positioned to grow through the current 2022 – 2024 strategic cycle.

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