Ant Financial’s $184.5 million Strategic Partnership With Telenor Group in Pakistan

Simpson Thacher is representing Ant Financial Services Group in its proposed acquisition of a 45% equity stake in Telenor Microfinance Bank Limited (“TMB”) for US$184.5 million.

Currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Telenor ASA, a Norwegian-listed company which operates telecommunications and other businesses internationally, TMB offers the largest branchless banking service in Pakistan, in terms of agent network, active accounts and transaction value, under the “Easypaisa” brand. TMB also provides micro-finance and related financial services to the less privileged and unbanked segment of Pakistani society. More than 100 million Pakistanis are unbanked, accounting for 5% of the world’s unbanked population, according to the World Bank. The capital infusion by Ant Financial is intended to help TMB further develop its mobile payment and digital financial services, including improved user experience on the Easypaisa mobile payment platform, to provide inclusive financial services in a transparent, safe, low-cost and efficient way to the unbanked and underbanked population in Pakistan.

Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

Ant Financial Services Group owns and operates an online financial services platform for consumers and small businesses. The company, led by Xiandong Jing, is based in Hangzhou.

The Simpson Thacher team includes Ian Ho (Picture), Sandra Kister, Sonya Ho and Matthew Leung (M&A); and Marcela Robledo (IP).

Involved fees earner: Ian Ho – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Sandra Kister – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Sonya Ho – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Matthew Leung – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Marcela Robledo – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett;

Law Firms: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett;

Clients: Ant Financial Services Group ;


Author: Michael Patrini