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Network International acquires Africa’s DPO Group in US$291.3m deal

Global enabler of digital commerce across the MEA region, Network International has acquired pan-African payment service provider DPO Group in a landmark US$291.3-million deal.

According to a statement released by the companies, the Dubai-based Network International has acquired 100% of DPO Group, which will continue to operate under the same brand in existing territories.

DPO companies PayGate, PayFast and SiD Secure EFT will continue to operate in South Africa as normal.

DPO operates in 21 countries in Africa and through the acquisition, Network International will increase its presence across the continent and into new territories.

By acquiring DPO, which operates in 21 countries on the continent, Network International will increase its presence throughout Africa and new territories, one of the fastest growing payments markets in the world. DPO will soon launch a new, comprehensive payment solution, DPO Pay, for businesses in some of Network International’s territories and across Africa.

DPO Pay was in planning prior to the deal closure and the solution was launched at the time of the new DPO website build. 

The company said it made sense to then commence the roll out of DPO Pay in new markets as a start and then to its existing markets.

The acquisition of DPO Group will support Network International’s capabilities in Africa across online, mobile and alternative payments as well as providing merchant and MNO relationships and increasing the cross-selling opportunities to both DPO and Network International’s customers.

The acquisition will see DPO add new products and services to its offering, supporting existing merchants with even more payment options to simplify their e-commerce operations.

DPO currently has a local presence in, and is serving customers across more than 21 countries in Africa, and it plans to continue its expansion into Francophone West Africa.

Its goal is to be present in 28 African countries in the next two years. The short-term focus for Africa is Morocco, Mozambique, Angola, as well as Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE.

According to Network International the value of the African online payment market in 2020 was more than US$30-billion (Total Processed Volumes) and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of c30% between 2021 and 2025, according to Edgar, Dunn & Company 2020 data. 

Eran Feinstein, CEO of DPO Group.
Eran Feinstein, CEO of DPO Group.

Eran Feinstein, CEO of DPO Group, commented: “This deal is a milestone for DPO and good news for the 60,000-plus active merchants using our platform. As part of the Network International group, we can support the business growth of our existing partners, and of new merchants across Africa and the Middle East. Being part of a globally recognised business will help us drive the global payments agenda, delivering cutting edge solutions to businesses and merchants across these markets.”

Nandan Mer, CEO of Network International said, “I am delighted to welcome DPO to the Network family. DPO is a strong strategic fit with our business and the acquisition creates a unique combination of innovative online payments technologies, which will accelerate our growth whilst providing significant new capabilities for our established markets, including our customers and partners in the UAE. We look forward to welcoming DPO’s colleagues into our group and working together to accelerate digital payments across the MEA region.”

Offer Gat, DPO Group Co-Founder and Chairman added: “The successful close of this deal highlights not only the vast opportunity for digital payments in Africa but is also testimony to the dedication and hard work of the DPO Group team who have helped build the business into one of the leading pan-African payments companies. We are looking forward to working alongside Network International to drive similar success in new markets, providing cutting-edge products and services to support the needs of local merchants and global blue-chip businesses alike.”

Apis Partners Managing Partners and Co-founders Udayan Goyal and Matteo Stefanel said, “It has been a pleasure to work with Eran, Offer and the team as they have grown DPO into a leading pan-African payment company, increasing coverage across the continent from five to 21 countries and employees from c.60 to over 450 throughout the course of our investment. What has provided us with the greatest pleasure is seeing the positive impact that DPO’s growth has made not only to its own employees, but to the tens of thousands of people now able to use the platform, especially during the pandemic where cashless payments have become a necessity. With Network International, a leader in its high growth markets, we are confident that this new phase with DPO will yield great successes.”

The companies add that the deal will see DPO Group’s shareholders and executives become key stakeholders in Network International while DPO Group will retain its executive team and employees.

Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisors to DPO on the deal, while ENS Africa served as legal advisor.

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