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Network International gears up for London’s biggest float of 2019

The payments giant, which is chaired by former Worldpay boss Ron Kalifa, could be valued at as much as £2.3bn should it press ahead with plans to list in London later this year
businesswoman with phone in hand
Network International reportedly chose London over Dubai for its IPO

London is gearing up for its biggest IPO of 2019 so far, with payments giant Network International confirming it is looking to list in the capital later this year.

News of the potential IPO, which could come as early as April, will be welcomed by City financiers, who have been starved of big floats in recent months amid increasing uncertainty over Brexit.

Some reports have suggested the listing could value the Middle East and Africa-focused group at upwards of £2bn.

READ: Network’s announcement in full

That would easily outstrip the £366mln valuation that legal firm DWF Group Ltd (LON:DWF) came to market with earlier this week.

“We have picked London because of the strong investor base, good corporate governance and the number of emerging funds that are based here,” chief executive Simon Haslam told the Evening Standard.

“Of course we’ll be watching how Brexit develops but most of our business is done outside the EU, in the Middle East and Africa, and so it doesn’t really affect us.”

To help it prepare for its eventual flotation, Network International has appointed industry veteran and former Worldpay boss Ron Kalifa as its chairman.

Last year, the company, which was founded 25 years ago, posted earnings of US$152mln on revenue of US$298mln.

Demand for its services in the Middle East and Africa has soared in recent years as more and more people switch to digital from cash.

In what could be another boost for the Square Mile, Fitzrovia-based mortgage lender LendInvest also confirmed on Thursday that it is mulling a stock exchange listing, although it didn’t clarify where or when.

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