U.A.E Based payments specialist, Network International, acquires majority stake in TimesofMoney

 Mumbai, India: November 27, 2012 : Network International, the leading independent payment solution provider in the Middle East & Africa announced today that it had entered into an agreement with Times Internet Limited to acquire a majority stake in TimesofMoney Ltd. TimesofMoney is a leading global online remittance & digital payments player facilitating cross-border remittances & domestic payments.

The acquisition enables Network International to open up a much needed online remittance service on the key GCC – India corridor, as well as introduce a number of new value-added remittances and retail based services. The transaction is seen as a major enabler of Network International’s strategy to expand its product offering and geographic coverage and provides the company with a very strong foothold in the global money transfer sector and in the payment services space in India.

TimesofMoney’s flagship brand – Remit2India, is the pioneer in the online remittances to India with over 11 years expertise in facilitating money transfers from Non Resident Indians across the globe. TimesofMoney is also an emerging player in the fledgling online remittance market to countries like the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh under the Remit2Home brand. Its other cross-border service is Window2India – a value added services portal for Non Resident Indians offering gifting, health-care, property services etc.

TimesofMoney is also the leader in offering a state-of-the-art white-label remittance platform to a host of Banks, Money Transfer Operators & Telecom Companies across the globe. As a strong payment services player in the emerging Indian market, TimesofMoney’s DirecPay service offers an integrated payment gateway platform to eCommerce merchants across the country.

The importance of this agreement is magnified by the fact that India is one of the highest remittance receiving countries in the world, estimated at US$ 64 billion annually and that the value of the GCC-India remittance corridor is valued at approximately US$ 25 billion annually and growing. Overall, the cross border remittance market is estimated at approximately US$ 415 billion globally.

Bhairav Trivedi, Chief Executive Officer of Network International, said: “This is a momentous day for Network International. Through this transaction, we will now be able to offer a comprehensive range of new remittance services in the subcontinent, and India in particular, thereby meeting the growing need of our customers who are looking to remit money abroad through an efficient, reliable and innovative platform. We look forward to building on our leadership position in the market and we will continue to lead and innovate across all areas of our business.

This acquisition is an important step in the execution of Network International’s strategy to become the leading payments player in growth markets. The addition of TimesofMoney to Network International’s payments platform marks the company’s entry into an exciting product space, expands its market distribution channels across an enhanced geographic and customer base, and enables the combined entity to generate significant synergies across all product groups.”

Network International’s leadership position in the market was bolstered by Abraaj Capital’s investment of a 49% stake (US$ 545 million) in Network International in 2011 which has enabled the organization to embark on an expansion program. Network International’s main shareholder is Emirates NBD, which holds a majority stake of 51% in the company.

Avijit Nanda, Chief Executive Officer of TimesofMoney said: “We are extremely excited by the endless opportunities this partnership promises. We are confident that our respective complementary strengths will not only allow us to reach new markets but also help our existing retail & institutional customers with enhanced offerings. Our business has grown exponentially over the last 5 years & we expect that with a global player like Network International coming in, this would help take us to the next level. The backing of the Times Group over the last 11 years has contributed significantly in establishing our business as a formidable digital payments company & we will continue to look forward to their active participation as we embark on this new journey with Network International.”

As per the terms of the deal, Network International would be acquiring a majority stake in TimesofMoney from Times Internet Ltd. The latter would continue to remain as a minority shareholder with board representation.

FT Advisors Ltd., AZB & Partners, and Deloitte acted as advisors to Network International in the ansaction. Nishith Desai Associates, UBS, and PriceWaterhouse Coopers acted as advisors to Times Internet Limited.

About TimesofMoney

TimesofMoney is the leading digital payments & remittances service provider catering to retail & institutional clients in India & across the globe. Headquartered in Mumbai, TimesofMoney’s bouquet of services include retail online remittances (Remit2India & Remit2Home), value-added NRI services (Window2India), white-labeled remittance platforms & online payment gateway solutions (DirecPay).

With over 11 years of experience, TimesofMoney boasts of a strong customer franchise in the retail & institutional space & has also been the recipient of several industry accolades for its achievements over the years.

About Times Group

The Times Group is India’s largest media conglomerate with its flagship Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL) being the largest publishing company in India and South-Asia. Starting off with The Times of India – which is now the one of the largest English publications in the world, BCCL and its subsidiaries (called The Times of India Group), are present in every existing media platform – Newspapers, Magazines, Books, TV, Radio, Internet, Event Management, Outdoor Display, Music, Movies and more. With a turnover exceeding a billion dollars, the group has the support of over 25,000 advertisers, 11,000 employees and an audience spanning all continents.

About Network International

Established in 1994, Network International LLC is the largest acquirer and one of the leading payment solutions providers in the region aimed at meeting the needs of banks, financial institutions and retailers. It is a Principal Member of Visa and MasterCard, offering customer the most comprehensive range of payment products and services in the Middle East and Africa, for both the Issuing and Acquiring segments of the electronic payments industry. Offerings include credit and debit card processing services, ATM management and monitoring, merchant acquiring and consumer finance applications. Network International provides consultancy services, including planning, designing, and developing new software and services.

Network International is the UAE’s largest merchant acquirer for Credit and Debit Cards and the largest third-party processing vendor in the Middle East, capable of providing banks, financial institutions and retailers with complete end-to-end EMV-certified solutions.

About Emirates NBD:

Emirates NBD is a leading banking Group in the region. As at 31 December 2011, total assets were AED 284.6 billion. The Group has a leading retail banking franchise in the UAE, with over 168 branches and over 780 ATMs and SDMs.  It is a major player in the UAE corporate banking arena and has strong Islamic banking, Global Markets & Treasury, Investment Banking, Private Banking, Asset Management and Brokerage operations. 

The Group has operations in the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Jersey (Channel Islands), and representative offices in India and Iran. The Group is an active participant and supporter of the UAE’s main development initiatives and of the various educational, environmental, cultural, charity and community welfare establishments. For more information, please visit: www.emiratesnbd.com

About Abraaj Capital

The Abraaj Capital group is a leading private equity manager investing in growth markets. Since inception in 2002, the group has raised over US$ 7 billion and distributed in excess of US$ 3 billion to investors. With over US$ 6 billion in assets under management, the group has helped accelerate and facilitate the growth of more than 50 companies in 15 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region in sectors as diverse as healthcare, education, energy, aviation and logistics.

Employing over 95 investment professionals, the group is headquartered in Dubai and has a presence in Algiers, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Casablanca, Istanbul, Karachi, London, Mumbai, Ramallah, Riyadh, Singapore and Tunis. Funds managed by the Abraaj Capital group have holdings in over 35 companies including Air Arabia, the Middle East’s leading low cost carrier, Network International, the largest independent payment solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa, IHH Healthcare Berhad, one of the largest private healthcare groups in growth markets and Al Borg Laboratories, the Middle East’s largest privately owned medical testing laboratory.

In 2012, Abraaj Capital was ranked the largest private equity firm in emerging markets worldwide by Private Equity International. In addition, Abraaj Capital has won many regional and international awards, including the ‘Middle Eastern Private Equity Firm of the Year’ for seven consecutive years, awarded by Private Equity International.

With the completion of the Aureos Capital acquisition in 2012, Abraaj Capital will have a presence in more than 30 countries across growth markets, over 150 investments managed by a dedicated team of investment professionals and approximately US$ 7.5 billion in assets under management.

Abraaj Capital Limited, a member of the Abraaj Capital group, is licensed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).