Friday, October 28, 2011

CREDIT REFERENCE BUREAU (CRB) AFRICA ACQUIRED BY TRANSUNION

27th Oct. 2011 – TransUnion, a global leader in credit and information management, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with CRB Holdings Limited, the parent company of CRBAfrica to purchase a majority shareholding in CRB Holdings Limited, a credit risk management organisation with a presence in eight countries across Africa.
The acquisition significantly expands TransUnion’s footprint in Africa. Building on its existing presence in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, TransUnion can now enhance operations in Botswana and extend its footprint into Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, bringing a wide range of credit reporting and risk management solutions to these emerging markets. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Closing of the transaction is subject to satisfaction of customary conditions to closing and regulatory approvals.
“For TransUnion, broadening our presence in Africa is part of our strategy to open opportunities for both businesses and consumers, helping to fuel economic growth in these evolving credit markets,” said Edward Khoury, Group CEO TransUnion Africa. “We are delighted to be working with CRBAfrica and leveraging their experience and relationships within these countries to introduce to the local markets the many benefits of credit-information.

In addition to supporting new retail and banking customers in the region, this will also enable our large customers in South Africa to launch operations further into Africa, whilst being assured of Credit Bureau support.”

With a population of approximately a billion people and a strong gross domestic product, Africa is increasingly the focus of both local and international commercial interest and investment. The benefits of this investment are widespread, but the introduction and influence of credit bureaus in particular are expected to have a significant effect on the economies of Africa in the medium term and positively impact job creation, specifically at a Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) level. Moreover, at a social level, studies have shown that widening access to regulated credit fosters positive results for the distribution of wealth.

According to Michael Karanja, Chairman of CRBAfrica, the synergies between the two companies will enable the combined business to offer clients an even more compelling value proposition. “With over twenty years’ experience in credit referencing and debt management in Africa, we have built strong relationships with our clients and pride ourselves on our high business ethic, as well as our commitment to our people and the region as a whole,” Karanja said. “As part of TransUnion, we will have the global reputation, expertise, systems and suite of solutions to dramatically enhance our services within the region.”

Khoury and Karanja also stressed the point that there are no plans to make any changes to personnel or management, and that it is very much “business as usual”. Once the purchase is complete, the markets will begin learning and seeing a wider range of product and service offerings as the transition to the TransUnion brand occurs.

About TransUnion

As a global leader in information and risk management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analysing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering high quality data, and integrating advanced analytics and enhanced decision-making capabilities. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. TransUnion reaches businesses and consumers in 23 countries around the world. Based in Johannesburg, with global headquarters located in Chicago in the US, TransUnion is one of South Africa's oldest credit bureaus. Visit www.transunion.co.za or www.mytransunion.co.za for more information.

About CRBAfrica

CRBAfrica, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya is Africa’s largest networked credit reference bureau and debt management outsource organization with current operations in eight African countries employing 300 employees. By combining a highly skilled, multilingual indigenous workforce, a wide range of unique products and services that reflect each local operating environment and a fully-integrated geographic reach, CRBAfrica has pioneered the development of credit bureau and debt management services across the African continent to allow major banks, credit card companies, financial institutions, microfinance and multinational commercial enterprises to reduce their credit risks. www.crbafrica.com
From Vuma Reputation Management

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