Lamberti firm backs microlender

Lamberti firm backs microlender

2010-03-29 16:28

Johannesburg - A private equity firm headed up by former Massmart CEO Mark Lamberti has invested more than R400m in microlender Bayport Financial Services.

Transaction Capital, which Lamberti has chaired since 2008, announced it has acquired 82% of the South African arm of specialist microlender Bayport Financial Services.

The price tag attached to the acquisition is between R400m and R650m, depending on performance criteria set out in the acquisition.

Stuart Stone, a founding shareholder of Bayport and its executive deputy chairperson, said: "Transaction Capital is the best possible parent company to mentor and guide Bayport through the next phase of its development.

"It offers complementary skills in credit and payment services as well as expertise in principal lending. This transaction will further ensure that Bayport continues to receive the right type and level of funding to grow off the strong base that it has built to date."

Experienced team members

Bayport has about 500 employees and 160 000 clients in over 176 branches across South Africa.

Members of the Transaction Capital team are no strangers to the microlending sector, having been involved with African Bank Investments Limited (Abil) in its early days.

Two Transaction Capital directors - Jonathan Jawno and Michael Mendelowitz - sold their private equity business Nisela to Abil in 2002, and were responsible for identifying growth areas for the largest microlender in the country.

Roberto Rossi, also a director of Transaction Capital, founded Miners Credit Guarantee in 1991 to provide credit card-type facilities to mineworkers. In 2003 this was fully integrated into the Abil business after being 50% held by Nisela.

Transaction Capital has also made a variety of investments in non-banking financial services businesses over the last few years. These include collections business MBD Holdings, SA Taxi Finance, Credit Management Solutions Group and credit consulting business Process Integration Consulting Solutions.