ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan celco Dialog Axiata has bought a controlling stake in Colombo Trust Finance PLC, a finance company owned by the Cargills group, for just over a billion rupees, in a foray into financial services.
A controlling 80% stake of 37.5 million shares in Colombo Trust Finance PLC, formerly Capital Alliance Finance PLC (CALF), was sold on the Colombo stock exchange Tuesday at Rs28.7 per share, at a 74% premium to its last traded price.
Dialog said in a statement it bought 37,374,598 shares or 80.34% of Colombo Trust Finance PLC, from Cargills Bank Limited.
Colombo Trust Finance PLC closed at Rs18.70, up Rs2.20 or 13.33%.
Dialog Axiata said its acquisition of Colombo Trust Finance will help expand its business into mainstream digital financial services.
“Dialog aims to bring together the realms of advanced digital connectivity and cutting edge financial technology (FinTech) to delivery a revolutionary suite of products and services.”
Dialog said it will focus on financing solutions aimed at increasing the affordability and accelerating the adoption of digital devices and services by a wide spectrum of consumers and businesses.
Dialog entered financial services in 2012 with its eZ Cash mobile payments service which now has over 2.8 million mobile payment subscribers across Etisalat, Hutch and Dialog mobile networks.
“Dialog envisages that its foray into financial services would help accelerate Sri Lanka’s drive towards adoption of digital financial services by encouraging digital savings and increase access to financial services to all segments of society,” said Dialog group chief executive Supun Weerasinghe.
“Dialog would also leverage this acquisition to drive down the entry barriers for adoption of smart technology and devices through inclusive financing solutions.”
NDB Investment Bank acted as financial advisors to the acquisition while FJ&G de Saram were legal advisors to the transaction.
(COLOMBO, September 12, 2017)