Western Union buys 15% stake in STC Pay

Western Union buys 15% stake in STC Pay
In harmony with Vision 2030, STC Pay aims to become a pioneering service. It is an integrated payment application that covers an individual’s daily needs. (AFP)
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Updated 23 November 2020

Western Union buys 15% stake in STC Pay

Western Union buys 15% stake in STC Pay
  • Deal results in creation of first fintech unicorn in Mideast

DUBAI: Western Union, the world’s largest money transfer firm, has acquired a 15 percent stake in the digital payment unit of Saudi Arabia’s STC Group for $200 million.

The acquisition of STC Pay, which values the company at SR5 billion ($1.3 billion), will finance its capital and support long-term expansion plans, Saudi Arabia’s largest telecoms operator said in a statement on Saturday.

STC Group chairman Mohammed bin Khalid Abdullah Al-Faisal said the investment reflected the company’s position as a “digital enabler.” He said the deal created the first “Saudi unicorn and the first fintech unicorn in the Middle East.”

Unicorns are generally defined as private companies valued at $1 billion or more.

Upon completion of the deal, STC said Western Union will pay $133.3 million for a 10 percent stake in STC Pay. If STC Pay obtains a digital banking license, the buyer then pays another $66.67 million, increasing its equity stake to 15 percent.

Sources told Reuters last month that STC had hired banks to arrange a potential initial sale of shares in its product and services development arm, Solutions by STC.

Reducing dependence on cash is part of Saudi government efforts to modernize the Kingdom’s economy.

STC said its STC Pay unit is the first licensed fintech company by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and has more than 4.5 million users.

In harmony with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to progress and diversify digital services, it aims to become a pioneering service. It is an integrated payment application that covers an individual’s daily needs.

Launched in late 2018, STC Pay’s mobile wallet offers different digital financial services to consumers including peer-to-peer money transfer service (between its users), transfers to bank accounts, payments at partner stores with QR codes, payment of utility bills, and international money transfers that are powered by Western Union.


SABIC to begin construction of plastic recycling facility in the Netherlands

SABIC to begin construction of plastic recycling facility in the Netherlands
Updated 57 min 22 sec ago

SABIC to begin construction of plastic recycling facility in the Netherlands

SABIC to begin construction of plastic recycling facility in the Netherlands
  • The construction phase for the unit is expected to become operational in the second half of 2022
  • The project will be realized under a 50:50 joint venture

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) and Plastic Energy Ltd. announced plans to commence construction on the first commercial unit to produce its flagship certified circular polymers.

The construction phase for the unit, which will be located in the Netherlands, is expected to become operational in the second half of 2022.

The project will be realized under a 50:50 joint venture. It will be implemented with a top sector energy subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands.

The new unit will enable SABIC to significantly upscale the production of certified circular polymers to provide customers with greater access to sustainable materials which have been recycled, repurposed and produced in a way that can help protect our planet’s natural resources, while acting as a drop-in solution.