Actis Completes 100% Management Buy-Out of Mediterranean Smart Cards Company in Egypt

By Actis Llp, PRNE
Monday, July 26, 2010

CAIRO, July 27, 2010 - Actis (, a leading private equity investor in emerging
markets, announces the 100% management buy-out ('MBO') of Mediterranean Smart
Cards Company ('MSCC'), the premium electronic payment processor in Africa.

Actis will become the majority shareholder; the management team, led by
Madame Hoda Shoukry, has also invested for a stake in the business.

Africa is the last continent to move away from a cash society. The
acquisition of MSCC reflects Actis's belief in the fundamental shift in
consumer and business behaviour from cash transactions to electronic

MSCC was founded in 2001 and has built on its leading market share in
Egypt to penetrate over 20 countries. It is now emerging Africa's leading
provider of high-quality, flexible technology for card payment processing and
support services. The company presents an attractive value proposition to
banks by reducing time to market, freeing management capacity to focus on
core operations, and reducing costs. A third of Egyptian banks currently
outsource their card processing to MSCC.

Madame Hoda Shoukry, CEO of MSCC, said: "It is rewarding to be involved
in an Egyptian company that has made such great strides in Africa: we look
forward to working with Actis and continuing to strengthen and grow the MSCC

Paul Edwards, incoming Chairman of MSCC, said, "This new ownership
structure secures the next phase of expansion for MSCC's nine-year old
business. Actis's experience in scaling businesses in other high growth
markets and its network of contacts will help accelerate growth and secure a
broader base of card issuers. I truly believe the payments industry is the
'next big thing' in Africa."

Commenting on the news, Actis Senior Partner Paul Fletcher said: "The
growth of the payments industry is a key feature of the emerging markets
story; we believe it shows the same potential as the telecoms sector did ten
years ago. MSCC has a sound commercial foundation and world-class expertise.
It offers a platform upon which we can build; bringing modern personal
finance products to many more people and providing them with greater choice
in the management of their finances."

The MSCC acquisition follows Actis's US$244million investment in Egypt's
Commercial International Bank ('CIB') in July 2009; the MSCC deal is entirely
unconnected but underlines Actis's continuing strength in the financial
services sector and the firm's on the ground expertise in Cairo.

About Actis

Actis is a leading private equity investor in emerging markets with a
growing portfolio of investments in Asia, Africa and Latin America; it
currently has US$4.8bn funds under management. Actis has over 100 investment
professionals on the ground in 9 offices worldwide. In Africa, Actis has over
US$1.5bn funds under management in 17 countries, and over 25 investment
professionals located in Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya and London.

Actis announced the close of its pan-emerging markets fund, Actis
Emerging Markets 3 (AEM3) on 1 December 2008 with commitments totalling
US$2.9bn. Actis announced the close of its infrastructure fund, Actis
Infrastructure 2, on 30 September 2009 with commitments totalling US$750m.
In 2010, Actis was named African Private Equity Firm of the Year by Private
Equity International magazine for the third consecutive year.

About MSCC

MSCC is an Egyptian company, established in 2001, with a goal to provide
high quality, premium electronic payment processing services to banks and
financial institutions. MSCC has achieved this goal through its world-class
technology platform and deep understanding of the processing market. Besides
delivering a range of services and benefits to its clients, MSCC's mission is
to provide high-quality, premium smart card payment processing services to
banks across the Middle East and Africa; opening up access to electronic
payment knowledge and expertise.

About Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards will become Executive Chairman, responsible for driving
MSCC's leadership in the payments market. Paul has built businesses in Africa
and Asia; he pioneered the African telecoms revolution as Group Chief
Executive of MTN, Africa's leading telecommunications operator. Prior to MTN,
Paul was Group Chief Executive of Johnnic Holdings; he has also served as
Chief Operating Officer of Measat Broadcasting, and Executive Vice President
of Star TV, which pioneered satellite TV in Asia. In addition to his
executive role at MSCC Paul will continue to serve as Director of
NASDAQ-listed Net-1 UEPS (a smart card-based financial services provider) and
Vice-Chairman of Starcomms Plc., a listed Nigerian telecommunications

    Maha Saad, Actis +20(12)319-2140
    Rowaidah Bibers, MSCC +20(23)304-6870

Maha Saad, Actis, maha.saad at +20(12)319-2140, Rowaidah Bibers, MSCC, rowaidah.bibers at +20(23)304-6870

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