By Daniel Anomietei/Mediacraft
Following the registration of a N30 billion debt issuance programme (the “Programme”) with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria (“SEC”), Interswitch Limited (the “Sponsor” or “Interswitch”), a leading technology-driven company focused on the digitisation of payments in Nigeria and other African countries, has successfully concluded a N23 billion Series 1 Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured Callable Bonds issue (the “Bonds” or “Issue”), via a Special Purpose Vehicle (“SPV”), Interswitch Africa One PLC (the “Issuer”).
The Series 1 Issue priced at 15% was 2.6x subscribed. The 7-year Bonds, embedding a call option that can only be exercised from the second year, are payable in full at maturity. An application will be made to list the Bonds on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (the “NSE” or “Exchange”) on receipt of the SEC’s approval of the proposed allotments.
Investor participation was restricted to qualified institutional investors as defined by the SEC in Nigeria, with a proposed Bond allocation of 64% to pension fund managers, 7% to asset managers and 22% to commercial banks pending SEC approval. The strong level of over subscription demonstrated investor confidence in the Interswitch brand, business model and long-term strategy, supported by strong domestic ratings from both Agusto & Co. Limited (“Agusto”) and Moody’s Investor Service (“Moody’s”).
The Issuer was assigned “Aa3” national scale program rating (stable) by Moody’s and “Aa” (stable) national scale rating by Agusto, on the back of positive secular industry shifts, a strong market position and a good liquidity profile. The Sponsor was also assigned “Aa” (stable) rating by Agusto.
The Founder and CEO, Mr Mitchell Elegbe, commented: “We are delighted to report the success of the first series of Bonds issued under our Programme, especially with the level of interest shown by investors. Diversifying our funding sources through the inclusion of these Bonds will enable us achieve our strategic objectives and vision.”
FBNQuest Merchant Bank and Stanbic IBTC Capital acted as Lead Financial Advisors/Issuing Houses and ABSA Capital Markets Nigeria, FCMB Capital Markets, Quantum Zenith Capital & Investments and Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria, as Joint Issuing Houses.
Interswitch is a leading technology-driven company focused on the digitization of payments in Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Founded in 2002, Interswitch disrupted the traditional cash-based payments value chain in Nigeria by helping to introduce electronic payments processing and switching services. Today, Interswitch is a leading player with critical mass in Nigeria’s developing financial ecosystem and is active across the payments value chain, providing a full suite of omni-channel payment solutions. Interswitch’s vision is to make payments a seamless part of everyday life in Africa, and its mission is to create transaction solutions that enable individuals and communities to prosper across Africa. Interswitch’s broad network and robust payments platform have been instrumental to the development of the Nigerian payments ecosystem and provide Interswitch with credibility to expand across Africa.
This release is for informational purposes only and shall not constitute a prospectus or an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in the United States or any other jurisdiction.
The Bonds have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act”). The Bonds may not be offered or sold, directly or indirectly, in the United States unless registered under the U.S. Securities Act or offered in a transaction exempt from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws. There will be no public offer of the Bonds in the United States (for these purposes, “United States” means the United States of America, its territories and possessions, any State of the United States, and the District of Columbia). The Bonds referred to herein have not been and will not be registered under the Securities Act or with any regulating authority or under any applicable securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States or under the applicable securities laws of Australia, Canada or Japan.
This announcement contains “forward-looking statements”. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors beyond Interswitch’s control that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this announcement and no undue reliance should be placed on them.