PE firm Actis buys out Mediterranean Smart Cards Company

PE firm Actis buys out Mediterranean Smart Cards Company

PE outfit Actis has led a management buy-out of African electronic payments processor Mediterranean Smart Cards Company (MSCC). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Under the deal, Actis becomes the majority shareholder with the MSCC management team, led by Hoda Shoukry, also taking a stake.

Founded in 2001, with over 100 staff, Egypt-based MSCC works with over 40 banks, operating in more than 20 countries, including Algeria, Angola, Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Nigeria.

Following the acquisition, Paul Edwards, formally CEO of African telco giant MTN, will become MSCC executive chairman.

"Actis's experience in scaling businesses in other high growth markets and its network of contacts will help accelerate growth and secure a broader base of card issuers. I truly believe the payments industry is the 'next big thing' in Africa, says Edwards.

The MSCC acquisition follows Actis's $244 million investment in Egypt's Commercial International Bank last July as it seeks to boosts its presence in the country's financial services sector.

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