Cairo, September 8th, 2022
Banque Misr and Al-Ahly Capital Holding (ACH) – the investment arm of the National Bank of Egypt – concluded a 40% shares acquisition deal equally distributed between them of International Business Associates Group for Money Transfer Services, S.A.E. (IBAG) – the agent of Western Union Company in the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The siging ceremony was attended by Hisham Okasha, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Egypt and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al-Ahly Capital Holding; Mohamed Al-Etribi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Banque Misr; Karim Saada, Managing Director of Al-Ahly Capital Holding, and Akef Al-Maghrabi, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Banque Misr; also in attendance was Moustapha Sarhank – Chairman of the Board of Directors of IBAG and Jean Claude Farah, President Global Network and Hatem Sleiman, Regional Vice President – Head of Network – Middle East and South Asia and Mrs. Dina Mehanna, Senior Business Development – Near East and Egypt representing Western Union International, in addition to the respective team members of all concerned parties.
Following the signing, Hisham Okasha stated that the acquisition comes at a juncture where both the National Bank of Egypt and its investment arm seek to integrate a segment of potential clients targeted for inclusion in the banking sector while conducting money transfers via official means by availing a variety of banking services commensurate with the needs of that segment, which ultimately contributes to increasing foreign exchange inflows in general and remittances in specific. He equally noted that this acquisition reflects the growing efforts of ACH in investing in the field of non-banking financial services, in which the company is expanding significantly and achieving rapid growth, including electronic transfers. All this is in support of the strategy of the National Bank of Egypt in accordance to the nation’s direction in digital transformation.
Mohamed Al-Etribi, Chairman of Banque Misr, added that this partnership is a step towards assimilating the informal remittances sector into the banking sector and enhancing financial inclusion, thus confirming the directives of the Central Bank of Egypt and reiterating the role of Banque Misr in supporting the Egyptian economy and the consequent necessity of further expanding the customer base. The partnership with IBAG is a link with the non-banking sector and a foundational step in support of the technological transformation of electronic services that IBAG will provide in the field of money transfer.
From his side, Karim Saada expressed his pride in cooperating with the IBAG team, which includes professional cadres at the highest levels of competence that will contribute to strengthening the presence of Al-Ahly Capital in the field of non-banking financial services. He equally pointed out that Al-Ahly Capital previously invested in this field through Al-Ahly Holding Company for Financing, Services and Electronic Payments Holding (National Bank of Egypt’s platform for electronic payments). In addition to IBAG’s equity participation, ACH late last year acquired Pharos Securities Brokerage as well as Pharos for securities promotion and subscriptions coverage.
Akef Al-Maghrabi, Vice Chairman of Banque Misr, added that the bank’s acquisition is a reflection of his bank’s management’s confidence in the efficiency of the company’s management team and its ability to further advance IBAG to its desired target position after the completion of the deal. He equally noted that Banque Misr’s trust in IBAG’s leadership led to an agreement that the current executive management continues managing the company while supporting these professional competencies with representatives from Banque Misr and the National Bank of Egypt to attain the best desired future results.
In the same context, Moustapha Sarhank, Chairman of the Board of Directors – International Business Associates Group for Money Transfer Services – S.AE. (IBAG) expressed his pride and appreciation for the equity particpation in IBAG of those two grand and distinguihed banks with deep rooted banking pedigrees in the history of Egypt. He affirmed that there was no doubt that the presence of the representatives of the two banks on the company’s board of directors would add a more strategic direction towards an enhanced contribution – at a national level – of the company in terms of financial inclusion, in compliance with the directions of the Central Bank of Egypt with an intention to further partake closeness to IBAG’s customers base throughout Egypt. This would be realized not only through the company’s vertical expansion of providing new digital services, including a mobile wallet, and smart solutions provided by Western Union globally, but also through horizontal expansion to spread a network of branches that will reach out to all current and targeted new customers.
Jean Claude Farah, President, Global Network, Western Union said: “International Business Associate Group (IBAG) is one of our most established and strategic partners in Egypt. At Western Union, we are proud about this deep-rooted partnership based on innovation, customized solutions and optimal customer experience. We congratulate IBAG on this key milestone and we look forward to working with the company to enhance financial inclusion and digital transformation and ultimately spur economic growth in Egypt.”
It is worth noting that International Business Associates Group for Money Transfer Services – S.AE. (IBAG) is the oldest agent of Western Union Company in the Arab Republic of Egypt. IBAG was established in 1995, and through its 38 branches distributed geographically throughout Egypt, it provides special and distinctive services to more than 2 million customers, and standing annually at a total of 2.4 million transfers worth US$ 1.3 billion, which has a positive effect in increasing the dollar proceeds of the banking sector and thus supporting the national economy.
During the phases of the deal, the office of Dr. Zaki Hashem and Partners acted as the legal advisor for both Al Ahly Capital Holding and Banque Misr. Ernst & Young Company undertook financial and tax due dilligence procedings while Misr Capital played the role of the financial advisor to Banque Misr; whereas Kadry Law Office and Bahaa-Eldin Law Office in cooperation with BonelliErede acted in the role of legal advisors to the shareholders of International Business Associates Group for Money Transfer Services – S.A.E. (IBAG).