Mastercard has reached an agreement to invest $300m in UAE-based payments processor Network International’s planned listing on London Stock Exchange.

Mastercard will make investment on the same terms as institutional investors participating in the IPO.

Network International said that the investment will be subject to an ownership limitation of 9.99%, a 24 month lock-up period along with a 36-month standstill not to acquire further shares without its board approval.

Network chairman Ron Kalifa said: “The deal demonstrates significant confidence in the strength of the business as we move forward to listing.

“Network International sits at the heart of the Middle East and Africa’s payments ecosystem, the world’s most under-penetrated payments market, providing investors with the unique opportunity to benefit from the rapid structural shift from cash to digital payments.”

Mastercard $300m investment

Furthermore, the companies have also agreed to enter into a strategic partnership to support and accelerate the development of electronic payments in Africa and the Middle East.

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As per the agreement, both the parties will create shared development projects and cross-referral arrangements for products and value-added services to financial institutions and merchants.

Mastercard president for Middle East and Africa Raghu Malhotra said: “We believe that Network International’s broad geographic reach will complement our existing activities and help to deliver a deeper and sustained shift from the use of cash and checks. We will continue to partner with stakeholders across the region that help to enhance the electronic payment industry.”

Established in 1994 as a 100% subsidiary of Emirates Bank, Network International offers a wide array of technology-enabled payments solutions to merchants and financial institutions, which include acquiring and processing services along with a range of value-added services.