By Moses Nosike
Following the registration of a N30 billion debt issuance programme with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria, Interswitch Limited, a leading technology-driven company focused on the digitisation of payments in Nigeria and other African countries, has successfully concluded a N23 billion Series 1 Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured Callable Bonds issue, via a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Interswitch Africa One PLC.
The Series 1 Issue priced at 15% was 2.6x subscribed. The 7-year Bonds, embedding a call option that can only be exercised from the second year, are payable in full at maturity. An application will be made to list the Bonds on The Nigerian Stock Exchange on receipt of the SEC’s approval of the proposed allotments.
Investor participation was restricted to qualified institutional investors as defined by the SEC in Nigeria, with a proposed Bonds allocation of 64% to pension fund managers, 7% to asset managers and 22% to commercial banks pending SEC approval. The strong level of over subscription demonstrated investor confidence in the Interswitch brand, business model and long-term strategy, supported by strong domestic ratings from both Agusto & Co. Limited and Moody’s Investor Service.
The Issuer was assigned “Aa3” national scale programme rating (stable) by Moody’s and “Aa” (stable) national scale rating by Agusto, on the back of positive secular industry shifts, a strong market position and a good liquidity profile. The Sponsor was also assigned “Aa” (stable) rating by Agusto.
The Founder and CEO, Interswitch, Mr Mitchell Elegbe, said, “we are delighted to report the success of the first series of Bonds issued under our Programme, especially with the level of interest shown by investors. Diversifying our funding sources through the inclusion of these Bonds will enable us achieve our strategic objectives and vision.”
FBNQuest Merchant Bank and Stanbic IBTC Capital acted as Lead Financial Advisors/Issuing Houses and ABSA Capital Markets Nigeria, FCMB Capital Markets, Quantum Zenith Capital & Investments and Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria, as Joint Issuing Houses.