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Abraaj to Buy $545 Million Emirates NBD Unit Stake

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Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Abraaj Capital Ltd., a Dubai-based private-equity company that manages $6.6 billion, agreed to buy a 49 percent stake in Emirates NBD PJSC’s credit-card processing unit for about 2 billion dirhams ($545 million).

Abraaj will purchase the stake in Network International LLC through Abraaj Financial Technologies Holding Ltd. and help it expand, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. Emirates NBD, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank by assets, will help fund the deal, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter, according to the statement.

Network International, wholly owned by Emirates NBD, serves about 70 banks and financial institutions in the Middle East and Africa and more than 17,000 individual merchants. The company also manages one of the region’s most extensive ATM networks.

“Network International is a regional leader in its industry and is well-positioned as a platform for sustained future growth,” Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, managing director of Abraaj Investment Management, said in the statement. “Network International is ideally positioned to take advantage of the continuing shift from cash-based to electronic transactions.”

Emirates NBD was advised by the Dubai unit of Morgan Stanley & Co. International Plc and Dewey & LeBoeuf, while Abraaj was helped by FT Advisors and Allen & Overy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Arif Sharif in Dubai at asharif2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at Eevans3@bloomberg.net

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