FTSE 250 Network International has agreed a £2.2bn takeover offer from Canadian private equity giant Brookfield, becoming the latest in a string of listed firms to be taken private.
Brookfield, which is headed by former Bank of England governor Mark Carney, will pay 400 pence per share representing a 64 per cent premium to Network’s closing price on 12 April, when the first offer was made.
In an announcement today, the Dubai headquartered payments processor confirmed the deal had the full support of Network’s board.
Chair Ron Kalifa said the offer “represents an opportunity for Network shareholders to crystallise, in cash, the value of their investments at a significant premium.”
Brookfield was attracted to Network because of its strong position in the “large and fast-growing” Middle East and Africa payments space. It also highlighted its regulatory licences and “leading tech stack” which allows for scalability.
Brookfield said there is “strategic and industrial logic” in combining Network with Magnati. Magnati is the payments arm of First Abu Dhabi Bank which Brookfields took a majority stake in last year.
Anuj Ranjan, president of Brookfield’s private equity group, said: “Network is a leading payments business across the Middle East and other high-growth geographies that has built a strong industry position. We have followed the company for some time and share the team’s vision to build on that strong position by growing its offering to clients.”
The UK-listed payments processor has been subject to a bidding battle in recent months. Brookfield’s offer topped the 387 pence per share offer made jointly by CVC Capital and Francisco Partners back in April.
The agreement follows a wave of UK listed firms being snapped up as foreign investors capitalise on London’s cheap valuations. Earlier this month FTSE 250-listed Dechra accepted an offer from Swedish fund EQT in only the most recent example.