Actis has made an undisclosed investment in GHL Systems. Based in Malaysia, GHL is a payment services provider.
March 31 2017, London and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Actis, a leading growth markets investor, today announced a significant investment in GHL Systems (“GHL”), a prominent South East Asian payments company, headquartered in Kuala Lumpur and listed on Bursa Malaysia (GHLS:MK).
Actis becomes the largest shareholder in GHL, having acquired an initial 44.4% stake from private equity firm Creador and Simon Loh, Executive Vice Chairman of GHL, who will also retain a 19.1% stake in GHL. Actis will work alongside Simon and the remaining shareholders to support management to further scale and enhance GHL’s position as a leading regional payments business. Actis has also extended a mandatory take-over offer on the remaining GHL shares.
GHL provides integrated end-to-end payment services and solutions encompassing physical, internet and mobile payments on a sale, rental or transactional basis. Other than serving the traditional banking and financial sector, the company also serves major telecommunications companies, retailers and airlines in ASEAN. GHL manages more than 140,000 points of sale in ASEAN that enable credit card, debit card, prepaid contactless payment, loyalty, prepaid top up and bill payment collection services. Its largest markets are Malaysia, the Phillipines and Thailand.
Actis has extensive experience in growth markets payments, having invested in and helped build out leading payments platforms—including Emerging Markets Payments, PayCorp and DLP Payments—that have spanned more than 50 countries.
Commenting on the investment, Hossam Abou Moussa, Partner at Actis, said: “Investing in market leading businesses in the sectors we understand is a core pillar of our growth markets investment strategy. We are extremely excited by the opportunity to partner with Simon and the management team and to bring what we have learned in other markets to help GHL to scale and to cement its position as a regional leader.”
Simon Loh, Excutive Vice Chairman of GHL, added: “I am very excited to welcome Actis as a partner, as they bring an impressive track record in the payments sector.Together, we are fully aligned in our ambition to become the leading end-to-end payment services enabler in ASEAN by deploying world- class payment infrastructure, technology and services.”
Ali Mazanderani, Actis’s Fintech lead, added: “Investing in South East Asia and in GHL is a continuation of Actis’ strategy to be integral to and support the development buildout of landmark payments platforms across our markets. It follows on from our investments in Emerging Market Payments in Africa and the Middle East, PayCorp in Africa and DLP Payments in Latin America.”
Actis is a leading investor in growth markets, delivering consistent competitive returns, responsibly. It has a growing portfolio of investments across Asia, Africa and Latin America and has raised over US$12bn since inception.
The firm invests through insights gained from trusted relationships and local knowledge, deep sector expertise and an unparalleled heritage, set within a culture of active ownership.
Applying developed market disciplines to growth markets, an established team of c. 100 investment professionals in ten countries identify investment opportunities in response to two trends: rising domestic consumption and the need for sustained investment in infrastructure across private equity, energy and real estate asset classes.
Actis is a signatory to the United Nations backed Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), an investor initiative developed by the UNEP FI and the UN Global Compact. Actis targets consistent superior returns across asset classes over the long-term, bringing financial and social benefits to investors, consumers and communities. It calls this the positive power of capital.
GHL Systems Berhad (Main market, Bursa Malaysia; Stock Code GHLSYS0021; Bloomberg: GHLS) (“GHL” or ”the Group”) is a leading payment services provider in ASEAN with key business operations in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Australia. GHL also has software development centres in Wuhan (China), Philippines and Malaysia.
The Group provides world-class payment services and solutions encompassing physical, Internet and mobile payments on a sale, rental or transactional basis and is one of the top merchant acquirers in the region. Other than serving the traditional banking and financial sector, the Group also serves major telecommunications, petrol/gas retailing, loyalty, retail, and airlines companies in ASEAN. GHL manages more than 140,000 point of sales devices in ASEAN that enable credit card, debit card, prepaid contactless payment, loyalty, prepaid top up as well as bill payment collection services.
Beyond ASEAN, GHL has, through its distribution partners, successfully sold its proprietary software and payment network products to more than 20 countries, which includes Singapore, China, Taiwan, Australia, Romania, Holland, South America and Middle East.
GHL has been listed on Bursa Malaysia since 2003
Creador is a private equity firm focused on long-term investments in growth-oriented businesses in South and Southeast Asia. More information on Creador can be found at www.creador.com.