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Dialog acquires 80-pct of Colombo Trust Finance, aims FinTech solutions


Sept 13, 2017 (LBO) - Dialog Axiata PLC said it had successfully completed the acquisition of an 80.34 percent stake in finance company Colombo Trust Finance PLC (CTF) from Cargllls Bank Limited at a price of 28.70 rupees per share. The transaction was completed via a crossing on the Colombo Stock Exchange on Tuesday at a transaction value of LKR 1072 Million. In accordance with the Takeovers and Mergers Code of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dialog will proceed to announce a mandatory offer to the remaining shareholders of CTF. "The acquisition of CTF by Dialog Axiata PLC, will facilitate the expansion of the scope of operations of the Dialog Group in to the sphere of mainstream Digital Financial Services," the company said in a statement. "Dialog aims to bring together the realms of advanced digital connectivity and cutting edge Financial Technology (FinTech) to deliver a revolutionary suite of products and services which will expand the vistas of financial inclusion in Sri Lanka." Significant within the envisaged inclusion drive, will be a 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, the company said. Dialog Axiata entered the sphere of Financials services in 2012 when it was licensed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to operate the country's first Mobile Payment Service ez Cash. Now in its 5th Year of Operation, ez Cash has over the years secured over 2.8 Million Mobile Payment subscribers from across Etisalat, Hutch and Dialog Mobile Networks. In 2015, ez Cash won the GSM World Award for the best Mobile Payment Network Globally in recognition of being the World’s first end to end Inter-operable mobile payments network. More recently, Brand Finance named ez Cash as Sri Lanka’s highest valued e-commerce brand. Dialog also operates the TOUCH contactless transport payment service under license by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Dialog’s latest acquisition CTF, will be operated alongside the Digital Services Portfolio of the Dialog Group. Other digital ventures of the Dialog Group include Sri Lanka's leading e-commerce portal WoW.Ik operated by Digital Commerce Lanka, Doc.lk operated by Digital Health (Pvt.) Ltd., and the country’s leading digital education service Guru.lk operated by Headstart Pvt Ltd. Supun Weerasinghe, Director/Group Chief Executive - Dialog Axiata PLC said, “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 for all segments of society. 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, whilst Mls FJ & G de Saram acted as Legal Advisors to the transaction.
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