SaltPay To Acquire Apis Partners-Controlled Tutuka; PE To Swap Stake

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European payments firm SaltPay has inked a deal to acquire South Africa-born third-party payments enabler International Tutuka Holdings Ltd, a firm that is currently controlled by emerging markets private equity firm Apis Partners.

Apis, which bought a 62.6% stake in the firm in August 2019 via its second fund, will sell the entire holding to SaltPay.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed but Apis said it will swap Tutuka shares with a stake in SaltPay. It did not clarify if it is partly monetizing its investment or executing a full stock transaction.

Apis said that over the last 19 months it has helped Tutuka grow its international presence and has seen the company more than double the number of clients onboarded annually.

Tutuka’s management team. led by co-founder and CEO Rowan Brewer, will remain at the helm and as shareholders.

Tutuka is a global card issuer processor operating across emerging markets and is active in 33 markets across five continents. It is known for its processor-plus model that helps fintech companies, telecom operators, transfer providers, mobile wallets and digital banks issue Mastercard, Visa and UnionPay cards.

“Tutuka has capitalised on the acceleration of the structural shift from cash to electronic payment; improving financial inclusion in the digital economy through the issuance of physical and virtual payment cards,” said Matteo Stefanel, Apis Partners’ managing partner and co-founder.

“We are delighted that SaltPay has identified Tutuka as accretive to its own business as it seeks to provide an end-to-end solution to its customers around the world,” said Apis managing partner and co-founder Udayan Goyal.

Financial services-focused PE firm Apis Partners manages total committed capital from investors (including drawn and invested capital) of over $1 billion. Headquartered in London, Apis has representation in seven countries across Europe, North, East and West Africa, and South and Southeast Asia.

For SaltPay, a provider of payments and value-add software solutions to Europe-based SMEs, the acquisition will enable it to accelerate merchant growth by providing a new suite of services in the issuing vertical.

SaltPay also provides cloud-based payments and business management software as a service to global fintechs, payment providers, banks and mobile network operators.

Simultaneously, SaltPay has also acquired Paymentology, the world’s first fully cloud-native issuer processor. Paymentology helps banks across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia migrate to a fully cloud-based processing platform to issue Mastercard, Visa and UnionPay cards with enhanced functionality and data-driven insights.

Tutuka and Paymentology will remain separate companies and will collaborate across their respective teams and clients in more than 50 countries.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. Tutuka was advised by Proton Partners.

– The Capital Quest

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