The largest money transfer group in the Middle East has been created after the financial consortium that bought payments company Finablr announced it will rebrand it as WizzFinancial and merge it with a newly-purchased Bahraini company, it was announced on Tuesday.
Switzerland-headquartered Prism Group AG and Abu Dhabi’s Royal Strategic Partners in December bought Abu Dhabi-headquartered payments company Finablr for a nominal $1 after it ran into financial difficulties after a financial scandal involving Indian entrepreneur BR Shetty erupted last year.
The same consortium has bought the Bahrain Financing Company (BFC), which works in money transfer and currency services with a presence in Bahrain, India and Kuwait.
“The deal creates the largest remittance services and currency exchange group in the MENA region and becomes the only operator with a direct presence in all six GCC countries,” a WizzFinancial statement said.
“The acquisition creates a regional powerhouse with licenses to operate in over 30 countries.”
“It combines two of the largest and most well-established remittance-service companies in the region and creates a market-leading financial services group with tremendous growth potential in some of the fastest-growing markets in the world. Additionally, WizzFinancial will invest in a digital transformation plan that will modernize and streamline the way customers interact by making it easier and faster for customers to transact.”
Under the merger, WizzFinancial now has 5,000 employees, relationships with 140 correspondent banks, as well as a presence across the MENA region, India, Africa and numerous subsidiaries in North America, Europe and Asia, it said.
BFC’s CEO Ebrahim Ezra Nonoo, who will lead WizzFinancial’s international money transfer business, said: “As the GCC plays an increasingly larger role on the global economic stage, we are excited to leverage the latest technologies to create the largest remittance services and currency exchange group in the region.”
“I’m confident that by harnessing our collective expertise, we will be able to serve more customers.”
Amir Nagammy, a Britain-based Arab-Israeli who is chairman of Prism Group AG, said WizzFinancial is in the process of consolidating additional remittance providers and alternative financial institutions onto the new platform.
“I’m confident we’ll benefit from the deep experience, management capabilities, and customer reach of BFC’s leadership, and look forward to announcing additional strategic initiatives in the coming months.”
Prism, founded by Nagammy and Guy Rothschild, has offices in Britain and the United Arab Emirates and invests in financial services companies.