Network International joins FTSE 250 Index after London IPO

Dubai-based company is the biggest payments entity to feature on the benchmark index

Network International's headquarters in Dubai. Image courtesy of Network International
Network International's headquarters in Dubai. Image courtesy of Network International

Network International, a leading payments company in the Middle East and Africa, joined the FTSE 250 Index of London-traded equities.

The Dubai-headquartered company, whose shares started trading on the London Stock Exchange in April, is the biggest digital commerce company on the benchmark measure compiled by global index provider FTSE Russell, the company said on Sunday.

The 25-year-old index is one of FTSE Russell’s most recognised and widely tracked indexes, mirroring the performance of mid-cap stocks trading on the LSE. Trading on the main equities market in London and its eligibility for inclusion in FTSE UK indexes were among the company's initial public offering goals.

Private equity companies Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic own 24.5 per cent of Network International, while Emirates NBD, the biggest commercial lender by assets in Dubai, controls 25.5 per cent of the company post IPO.

Network International's IPO was the biggest of the year at the time of its listing with a market value of £2.175 billion (Dh10.44bn) based on offer price and number of shares issued. Since 2014, technology companies on LSE have raised more than $37bn in IPO and follow-on capital. Mastercard, the global payments giant, was a cornerstone investor in the public float with a $300 million pre-IPO commitment.

It was among the first companies of scale to test investor appetite in Europe’s lacklustre IPO market, where concerns over Brexit and slowing growth in Germany and France have pushed volumes at the start of the year to the lowest level since the financial crisis, according to Bloomberg.

Network's share float was followed in May by Finablr, the UAE-based holding company for brands including Travelex, UAE Exchange and Xpress Money. The company's London IPO valued the company at $1.6bn and attracted institutional investors including BlackRock, Columbia Threadneedle Investments and Norges Bank.

There are 141 companies from the MEA listed on the LSE, with an aggregate market capitalisation of $192bn.

In March, Network International appointed Ron Kalifa, the former chief executive of WorldPay, to oversee its IPO as the chairman. The company processed $40bn in processed total volumes last year across its MEA segments. The Middle East represented 75 per cent of Network International’s total revenue last year, with the remaining 25 per cent of sales in Africa.

Updated: June 10, 2019 04:23 PM


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