Saudi Arabia's Alhokair family to buy minority stake in Egypt's valU for $12.4m

The transaction will value the BNPL FinTech platform at $247.4m

With its entry into the Saudi market, valU will be present across Alhokair’s retail network of more than 1,000 stores. EPA
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Egypt-based buy now, pay later (BNPL) FinTech platform valU has entered into an agreement to sell a minority stake to Saudi Arabia’s Alhokair family for $12.4 million.

Fawaz Alhokair, Salman Alhokair and Abdul Majeed Alhokair will acquire a 4.99 per cent stake in the FinTech platform — part of EFG Hermes — valuing it at $247.4m, valU said in a statement on Monday.

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, marks the Alhokair family’s first investment in a BNPL platform in Egypt.

“The transaction … is a testament to valU’s visible success story, business model and potential for growth in Egypt and on a regional level,” said Karim Awad, group chief executive of EFG Hermes Holding.

The agreement comes after valU signed a deal earlier this month with FAS Labs, a joint venture owned by Alhokair and mall operator Arabian Centres Company to expand the BNPL consumer financing model in the kingdom.

Under the partnership, valU will acquire a 35 per cent stake in the paid-up capital of FAS Finance, the newly announced consumer microfinancing company owned by FAS Labs.

Last month, valU also joined forces with e-commerce company Amazon to ease consumer financing in Egypt.

The BNPL business model, which allows consumers to make online purchases instantly and spread out their interest-free repayments, has surged since the onset of the pandemic.

The industry is expected to grow by 10 to 15 times by 2025 worldwide, topping $1 trillion in annual gross merchandise volume by some estimates, according to a report by New York data research consultancy CB Insights.

ValU serves more than 574,000 app clients in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous consumer market. It has more than 5,000 points of sale locations catering to customers transacting in home furnishings, electronics, home appliances, fashion, auto spare parts, health care, education and travel, among other sectors.

“ValU has definitely filled a financing gap in the Egyptian market and supported financial inclusion," said Walid Hassouna, chief executive of valU.

"The business model that we created strives to have a positive daily impact on hundreds of thousands of consumers, retailers and service providers across the country."

With its entry into the Saudi market, valU will be present across Alhokair’s retail network of more than 1,000 stores as well as online on the VogaCloset and monobrand websites.

Updated: June 20, 2022, 5:28 PM