Emirates NBD, Abraaj said to mull IPO of payments firm

Sources say Network International, one of the region's largest payments processing firms, could be valued at over $1bn

Emirates NBD holds 51 percent of Network International.

Emirates NBD holds 51 percent of Network International.

Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest lender, and private equity firm Abraaj are reportedly mulling plans for an IPO of credit-card processing unit Network International.

Bloomberg cited three people with knowledge of the matter as saying that one of the largest payment processing firms in the Middle East and North Africa would be valued at more than $1 billion.

The share sale is likely to take place in the fourth quarter of this year or in early 2016, Bloomberg added.

Abraaj bought 49 percent of Network International from Emirates NBD for $545 million in late 2010 with Emirates NBD holding the remaining 51 percent.

The company serves about 70 banks and financial institutions in the region and manages one of the region’s most extensive ATM networks, Bloomberg said.

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