NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN, OR INTO, THE UNITED STATES, AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AFRICA, CANADA OR JAPAN OR ANY OTHER STATE OR JURISDICTION IN WHICH SUCH RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION WOULD BE UNLAWFUL.
Investec has acted as joint bookrunner in the £313m IPO of ASA International Group plc (ASAI), one of the world’s leading microfinance providers. It is the first time this kind of lender has listed in Europe.
ASAI primarily lends to low-income, financially underserved female micro-entrepreneurs as well as small business owners across Asia and Africa. It serves around 1.8 million clients through 9,000 staff across 1,387 branches.
The placing sees Catalyst Microfinance Investors sell 40 million existing shares at an offer price of 313p, achieving a market capitalisation of £313m. The float raised £125m in gross proceeds, with all the benefit going to selling shareholders. Investec was joint bookrunner on the transaction with EFG Hermes, while Citigroup Global Markets acted as sole global coordinator and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) acted as lead manager.
Rambhushan Kanumuri (India) and Chris Treneman (London) of Investec, said:
“This is a fantastic example of us using our international reach to help bring the first microfinance business of this kind to the LSE."
“The strong interest from high-quality institutional investors in what has been a less than easy environment for emerging markets issuance reflects the quality of ASAI’s business model and the strength and depth of Investec’s research and distribution across the Group.”
“We are delighted to have helped deliver this float, building on our strong record in the microfinance sector. ASAI plays an amazing role in society and we are very proud to have helped support it in this transaction and look forward to continuing to support the Company in its ongoing journey.”
About ASA International
ASA International is one of the world’s largest and most profitable international microfinance institutions, which aims to enhance financial inclusion among low-income populations throughout Asia and Africa in a socially responsible manner.
ASA International lends to 1.8 million low-income, financially underserved female micro-entrepreneurs, as well as small business owners, with 1,387 branches and 9,000 staff as at 31 December 2017. The Company is operational in 12 high growth and diverse markets in Asia and Africa, with 365 million potential clients and a well-established greenfield strategy to support global scalability. By empowering women through loans used to develop their businesses, the Group drives the socio-economic development of the communities in which it operates.