Interswitch Engages JPMorgan, Citi Group, Others for 2019 IPO Listing

Nigeria-based payments company, Interswitch, has engaged professional advisers to help revive its plans for a stock-market listing in London and Lagos later in 2019.

In a report by Bloomberg, Citigroup Inc, Standard Bank Group Ltd and JPMorgan Chase & Co., are amongst the firms working on the initial public offering which may value the fintech company between $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion.

According to insider sources, Interswitch had engaged with banks in recent weeks after a thwarted IPO attempt two years ago. Owned by private equity firm Helios Investment Partners, the company’s potential listing would follow those of two other major African and Middle Eastern tech company share sales this year just as Jumia Technologies AG, dubbed the Amazon of Africa, listed in New York earlier this year, while Dubai-based payments firm Network International Holdings Plc went public in London.

Interswitch’s dual listing in the U.K. and Nigeria echoes that of Airtel Africa Plc, the wireless carrier that spun off from Indian parent Bharti Airtel Ltd. in June. Bayport Management Ltd., a Mauritius-based financial services group, said last month it’s also considering a share sale, although a final decision has not been made.

The Africa-focused integrated digital payments and commerce company made moves earlier to list in 2016 after the price of crude oil fell dramatically, causing a contraction in Nigeria’s economy. An uptick in growth may accelerate payments between companies and thus revenues at payment-services providers.

The African-focused payment, loans and financial services company Bayport will be looking to approach certain markets for a share sale in 2019, the company said previously.

Helios is among several private funds that specialise in investing in African assets as the economic recovery taking place across the continent bolsters investor sentiment and infrastructure plans.

Yet foreign interest in Africa has been fickle. New York-based Blackstone Group Inc. is scaling back there, with plans to sell its Africa subsidiary Black Rhino Group back to management, a person familiar with the matter said in February. And Bob Diamond, the former Barclays Plc chief, is turning his attention elsewhere after struggling to get his banking venture off the ground.

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