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Merger and Acquisition

Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Sells Minority Stake to AfricInvest



Royal Exchange Plc

The Mangement of Royal Exchange General Insurance Company (“REGIC”) on Wednesday announced that AfricInvest, a Pan-African asset management company, has acquired a minority stake in the company.

REGIC disclosed in a statement released through the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

AfricInvest invested in REGIC through its evergreen private equity fund, FIVE, in the form of a subscription to a capital increase.

The statement reads, “The desire to participate in more large-ticket corporate transactions, diversify existing business and product lines as well as diversification of delivery channels were some of the key drivers behind this push for additional working capital by REGIC. The additional working capital will also enable the company to expand its underwriting capacity in key business areas such as the retail mass market, agricultural insurance and insurtech, which is the future of insurance.

This new investment, which has already been approved by NAICOM, will, in addition to supporting the enhancement of REGIC’s underwriting capacities, strengthen the company’s execution capabilities at top and middle management in order to ensure the successful implementation of an ambitious growth plan for the company within the next 5-7 years.

REGIC, which is one of Nigeria’s biggest private insurance companies, was established in 2008, following the restructuring of the then Royal Exchange Assurance Nigeria (REAN) which had been in operation for over a century in Nigeria.

FIVE has joined the shareholding of REGIC alongside the Royal Exchange Group and Blue Orchard’s InsuResilience Investment Fund (IIF), which had earlier invested in the Company in July 2019.

The investment by AfricInvest (FIVE Fund) will also result in the restructuring of the Board composition of REGIC, with the expected appointment of new Directors to the Board of REGIC, pending approval by the regulator, NAICOM. These new Directors are expected to bring their wealth of experience and expertise in their various fields into play and chart a new strategic direction for REGIC, as the company seeks to be among the Top 3 general insurance companies in Nigeria within the next 5 years.

Speaking on the new investment by AfricInvest, the Chairman of Royal Exchange Plc, Mr. Kenneth Ezenwani Odogwu, Chairman of Royal Exchange Group added, “Being the first insurance company in Nigeria and having been in business for over 100 years, I am excited and hopeful that we will be just as prominent for the next 100 years. The investment by AfricInvest and Blue Orchard is an important inflection point on this journey. Under the auspices of a new board led by a seasoned professional like Mr. Ike Chioke (awaiting NAICOM approval), I am confident that we will continue to provide relevant services and products to a new generation of insurance customers”.

Mehdi Gharbi, Senior Partner at AfricInvest and Co-head of FIVE, commented, “REGIC represents a perfect fit with the investment strategy of FIVE as it combines return and impact.

REGIC’s expansion plan will allow the Company to achieve sustainable and strong growth, facilitating access to insurance while creating value for stakeholders. I’m excited to join the REGIC’s board and to contribute alongside my colleagues the emergence of a new champion in the Nigerian insurance market.”

Ernesto Costa, Head of Private Equity Investments at BlueOrchard and representative of IIF in the board of REGIC added, “One of the key drivers behind our decision to invest in REGIC in 2019 was the history of the company, as well as the commitment of the key shareholders and management team to chart a new strategic direction for the company towards retail and improving the resilience of small-scale farmers, SMEs and households against the effects of climate change.

We are happy with the addition of AfricInvest, a like-minded and experienced investor, as a strategic shareholder and together, we will offer the necessary expertise, leadership and direction from the Board to ensure REGIC continues on its growth trajectory.

Sylma du Plessis, Partner at Alkebulan and advisor to the Royal Exchange Group commented, “This transaction is testament to REGIC’s strong management and opportunity set that it could successfully attract investors of the caliber of FIVE. We are proud to have played a part in securing funding for and giving financial advice to the Royal Exchange Group.”

For this transaction, Royal Exchange General Insurance Company had Messers Alkebulan and Co as its Financial Advisers while the Firm of Sefton Fross were the Legal Advisers. FIVE’s Legal Adviser was UDO UDOMA, BELLO OSAGIE (UUBO) and Co., while Royal Exchange Plc’s Legal Adviser was Punuka International Law Centre.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Merger and Acquisition

Eni’s Strategic Shift: Nigerian Agip Oil Co. Sold to Oando PLC



Oando Plc

Italian energy giant Eni has unveiled its plan to sell its exploration and production subsidiary, Nigerian Agip Oil Co. (NAOC), to indigenous energy solutions provider, Oando PLC.

This strategic move aligns with Eni’s 2023-26 strategy and awaits approval from local and regulatory authorities.

Eni’s decision to divest its onshore assets is driven by various factors, including ongoing oil thefts and spills and a shift towards more focused exploration budgets.

The Nigerian Agip Oil Company primarily operates in onshore oil and gas production and power generation.

It holds interests in four onshore blocks, oil mining licences (OMLs), two onshore exploration leases, and two power plants within Nigeria.

Previously, Eni held a 20% stake in four OMLs, with Oando also having a 20% stake, while the remaining 60% was owned by NNPC E&P.

Production from these assets feeds into the Obiafu-Obrikom plant and the Brass terminal, contributing 24,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to Eni’s net production in 2022.

Eni further exports a substantial portion of its gas production from these licences to the Nigeria LNG (NLNG) plant, where it maintains a 10.4% interest, with additional gas going to the Okpai plant and another open-cycle plant in Rivers State.

Ongoing efforts in the area include workovers to mitigate mature field decline and the development of new compressors to reduce gas flaring.

NAOC also manages the Okpai 1 and 2 power plants, boasting a combined capacity of 960 MW, along with two onshore exploration areas, OPL 282 and 135, where it holds 90% and 48% stakes, respectively.

Despite this divestment, Eni affirms its commitment to Nigeria through Nigerian Agip Exploration and Agip Energy and Natural Resources, as well as its continued involvement in onshore and offshore assets operated by others. Eni will also retain NAOC’s 5% interest in the Shell Production Development Company joint venture.

Wale Tinubu, CEO of Oando Group, expressed excitement about the deal’s potential to unlock unprecedented opportunities for the Nigerian energy company. This transaction aligns with Oando’s strategy of acquiring, enhancing, appraising, and efficiently developing reserves.

Oando’s acquisition of NAOC includes 40 discovered fields, with 24 currently in production, as well as 12 production stations, 1,490 km of pipelines, and three gas processing plants.

This purchase will significantly bolster Oando’s reserves, increasing them from 503.3 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) to a formidable 996.2 million boe.

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Merger and Acquisition

Access Bank Acquires Standard Chartered’s African Subsidiaries, Expanding its Global Footprint

The subsidiaries to be acquired by Access Bank include those in Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, and Sierra Leone, along with Standard Chartered’s consumer, private, and business banking business in Tanzania.



Access bank

Access Bank, a leading Nigerian financial institution, has reached an agreement to acquire Standard Chartered’s subsidiaries in five sub-Saharan African countries.

This strategic deal marks the success of Standard Chartered’s divestment plan announced last year, which aimed to streamline its operations and focus on faster-growing markets in the region.

The subsidiaries to be acquired by Access Bank include those in Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, and Sierra Leone, along with Standard Chartered’s consumer, private, and business banking business in Tanzania. As part of the agreement, Access Bank will assume responsibility for providing uninterrupted banking services to the employees and clients of Standard Chartered’s businesses in these countries.

Standard Chartered’s decision to divest its African subsidiaries aligns with its global strategy, which seeks to enhance operational efficiencies, reduce complexity, and drive scale. By redirecting resources within the Africa and Middle East (AME) region, Standard Chartered aims to capitalize on other areas with substantial growth potential.

The deal signifies a major step forward for Access Bank, solidifying its position as a leading player in the African banking landscape. With recent expansions in Europe and an extensive presence in key trading corridors across Africa, Access Bank is poised to build a robust global franchise.

The acquisition will enable Access Bank to serve as a gateway for payments, investment, and trade within Africa and between Africa and the rest of the world.

The value of the transaction remains undisclosed, and the completion of the deal is expected within the next year, pending regulatory approvals in the respective countries, as well as in Nigeria.

Sunil Kaushal, Standard Chartered’s regional CEO for AME, expressed confidence in the strategic decision, emphasizing the opportunity it provides to reallocate resources to high-growth areas within the region. This move allows Standard Chartered to optimize its operations and further strengthen its position in markets poised for expansion.

Roosevelt Ogbonna, Access Group Managing Director, commented on the acquisition, highlighting the bank’s commitment to bridging the gap between cross-border and domestic transfers across all business segments. With a focus on facilitating seamless transactions and enhancing connectivity, Access Bank aims to foster increased trade and investment within Africa and beyond.

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Merger and Acquisition

Visa Makes a Billion-Dollar Move: Acquires Brazilian Startup Pismo to Expand Fintech Reach

Visa’s $1 Billion Acquisition of Pismo Signals Fintech Expansion into Latin America



Visa Inc

Credit card giant Visa has announced its acquisition of Pismo, a Brazilian payments infrastructure startup, for a staggering $1 billion in cash.

This landmark deal is set to be one of the most significant fintech mergers and acquisitions of the year thus far.

Founded in 2016 by Juliana Motta, Ricardo Josua, Daniela Binatti, and Marcelo Parise, Pismo has quietly garnered an impressive list of high-profile clients, including Citi, Itaú (one of Brazil’s largest banks), Revolut, N26, Nubank, and Cora. The startup’s operations extend beyond Brazil, with a presence in several Latin American countries, the United States, Europe, as well as select markets in India, Southeast Asia, and Australia.

Pismo’s cloud-native issuer processing and core banking platform have been pivotal in providing banks, fintechs, and other financial institutions with the much-needed flexibility and agility to launch innovative products. Its services encompass card and payment solutions, digital banking, digital wallets, and marketplaces. Pismo also prides itself on empowering financial institutions to take control of their core data and utilize it intelligently.

By acquiring Pismo, Visa aims to bolster its capabilities in core banking and issuer processing across debit, prepaid, credit, and commercial cards. The startup’s platform will enable Visa to support emerging payment rails, such as Brazil’s Pix, and provide enhanced connectivity for its financial institution clients. The acquisition aligns with Visa’s strategic vision to offer differentiated issuer solutions and strengthen its relationships with financial institutions and fintech clients worldwide.

Jack Forestell, Visa’s chief product and strategy officer, expressed enthusiasm about the acquisition, stating, “Through the acquisition of Pismo, Visa can better serve our financial institution and fintech clients with more differentiated issuer solutions they can offer their customers.” The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of the year, pending regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Notably, Pismo’s current management team will remain intact and continue to operate from their São Paulo headquarters.

Pismo’s journey to this groundbreaking deal has been marked by remarkable growth. At the beginning of 2021, the company’s transaction volume stood at less than $1 billion per month, but it surged to nearly $40 billion in annual transaction volumes. With almost 80 million accounts and over 40 million issued cards, Pismo has cemented its position as a key player in the payments infrastructure space.

The acquisition garnered interest from multiple companies, with Visa emerging as the winning bidder. Ethan Choi, partner at venture firm Accel, which co-led Pismo’s Series B funding, emphasized the strategic significance of the deal and its potential synergies, asserting that Visa’s decision to provide core banking and card issuing services highlights the company’s commitment to working closely with banks and financial institutions.

Visa’s move to acquire Pismo echoes its previous infrastructure plays, such as the $2.15 billion acquisition of European fintech startup Tink, focused on open banking APIs. However, it is worth mentioning that Visa’s planned $5.3 billion acquisition of U.S.-based Plaid, an open banking startup, was abandoned due to regulatory hurdles.

The acquisition of Pismo by Visa not only serves as a major triumph for the Latin America region, which has experienced a surge in global investor interest, but it also signifies a remarkable turnaround for Pismo itself. In 2019, the startup faced financial hardship, having nearly depleted the cash it had raised in its initial seed round. Co-founders Binatti and Parise even resorted to selling their only car to sustain the company’s operations. Now, with the backing of Visa, Pismo’s workforce of over 400 employees will join the Visa team, further strengthening the company’s presence and capabilities.

This acquisition also highlights Accel’s knack for investing in financial infrastructure companies that subsequently attract significant attention and acquisition offers. In 2020, consumer financial services platform SoFi acquired payments and bank account infrastructure company Galileo for $1.2 billion, shortly after Accel injected $77 million in Series A funding into the company.

Visa’s acquisition of Pismo represents a pivotal moment in the fintech landscape, setting the stage for continued innovation and expansion in the payments and banking sectors. As the deal progresses, industry observers eagerly anticipate the impact of this strategic move and its implications for the future of banking and payments on a global scale.

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