TPAY / Helios
Cavendish Corporate Finance, the specialist sell-side M&A firm, has advised the shareholders of MENA-based TPAY on the sale of its majority share capital to London-based African private equity fund Helios Investment Partners.
The deal, which will see Helios buy a 76 per cent stake from venture capital firm A15, is the largest M&A transaction to date in the global direct carrier billing payments sector and highlights Cavendish’s ability to complete cross-border deals outside the UK.
A15, based in the Cayman Islands and operated throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, now becomes the first fund in the region to have created a Dragon from one of its investments. In this case, TPAY returned a multiple of the value of the entire A15 fund to its investors, a liquidity event that is very rare in the global tech investment space and a first of its kind in the MENA region.
Established in 2014, TPAY primarily operates in the MENA region, where only 14% of the population has a bank account but over 60%, and growing, have mobile phones. As a result, the region is characterised by low debit and credit card use and correspondingly low online payment conversion rates.
TPAY was created to address a gap in the market for simple, instantaneous and accurate e-payments. TPAY’s technology enables customers to purchase online digital content or services on any internet-connected device and charge it directly to their mobile phone bill or prepaid balance, avoiding the need to pursue traditional banking methods. TPAY’s payment process does not require preregistration, sign-up forms or new mobile software in order to use the service.
TPAY has grown rapidly and is the dominant direct carrier billing (DCB) player in MENA. The business currently operates in 16 countries and is partnered with 33 mobile phone carriers, providing almost 100% user coverage and an 80 percent market share across the region. The number of successful transactions processed by the business has grown at a CAGR of 1,081 per cent since its launch.
TPAY is poised to continue exploiting its growth potential. In recent months, the business has reached agreements to launch its services with large telecoms operators in a number of new countries and enjoys a strong pipeline of leading digital merchants.
Cavendish Corporate Finance, which advised the shareholders and management of TPAY, has an extensive track record in TMT and Financial Services. Recent notable deals include the sale of the leading online payroll software firm Star Computer Ltd to Iris Software, the sale of Alston Elliott to Inflexion Private Equity, the sale of specialist platform Halo Insurance Services LTD to Cover More Travel Insurance & Zurich Insurance and the sale of foreign exchange and money transfer platform World First to FTV Capital.
The Cavendish team was led by Jon Edirmanasinghe, Partner at Cavendish Corporate Finance.
Jon Edirmanasinghe, Partner at Cavendish, commented: “We were delighted to advise the TPAY shareholders on this landmark deal and it was a pleasure working with them on the journey. TPAY is already a dominant player in the MENA region and has enormous growth potential in the years to come, which will no doubt be supported by the experience Helios brings to the table. Congrats to A15, Sahar and the management team on what they’ve accomplished to date and best of luck in the future.”
“Thank you to Jon and the Cavendish team for a great job advising us throughout the sale process. Cavendish provided invaluable guidance and were hands-on from start to finish, advising us on many complexities along the way. We achieved a great outcome and their efforts were appreciated by both shareholders and management.”
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