Saudi Alhokair Family acquires minority stake in Cairo-based valU in $247.4 mln deal

Doaa A.Moneim , Monday 20 Jun 2022

Cairo-based valU, one of the investment firms of EFG-Hermes and a MENA buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) fintech platform, announced on Monday that Saudi Arabia-based Alhokair Family have acquired a 4.99 percent stake in valU for 247.4 million.


The deal includes pumping $12.4 million in investments, marking the first investment for Alhokair Family in the BNPL business in Egypt, according to valU.

The company explained that the action follows valU’s entry into the Saudi market last week after launching FAS Finance, a joint venture (JV) with FAS Labs in which the latter owns 65 percent and valU owns 35 percent. 

Last week, FAS Labs, a franchise retailer in Saudi Arabia owned by Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair, and Arabian Centres Company (ACC) partnered with valU.

With the agreement with Alhokair, valU will be present across Alhokair’s expansive retail network of more than 1,000 stores as well as online on the VogaCloset and monobrand websites, including 14 in Saudi Arabia. It will extend to other vendors, retail networks, and merchants to cover the entire Saudi market.

“We are thrilled to be further growing our partnership with the Alhokair Family. The transaction puts valU, the largest BNPL provider in Egypt, at a $247.4 million valuation, and is a testament to valU’s visible success story, business model, and potential for growth in Egypt and on a regional level,” said Karim Awad, Group CEO of EFG-Hermes Holding. 

“We are proud to have grown a strong brand like valU that, since late 2017, has not only established itself as the leading BNPL platform but has also attracted the interest of the world’s largest retailer, Amazon, one of the most important brands globally, and now one of the region’s most prominent retail players, Alhokair,” Awad added.

According to its recent published data, valU serves more than 574,000 app customers in the Egyptian market and currently boasts over 5,000 points of sale (POS) locations catering to hundreds of thousands of customers transacting in home furnishings, electronics, home appliances, fashion, auto spare parts, healthcare, education, and travel, among other services. 

valU noted that Alhokair Family’s agreement to acquire a stake in the company signals investors’ interest in the non-banking financial institutions in Egypt and position it on the map as a leading innovator and exporter of financial inclusion solutions.

“Saudi Arabia is our first new-market entry since we began operations out of Cairo five years ago. The acquisition agreement cements our solid partnership with Alhokair, a retail powerhouse and a perfect partner on our journey to expand across the region,” said Walid Hassouna, CEO of valU. 

“valU has definitely filled a financing gap in the Egyptian market and supported financial inclusion. The business model that we created strives to have a positive daily impact on hundreds of thousands of consumers, retailers, and service providers across the country,” Hassouna noted.

In May, EFG-Hermes Holding and Amazon inked an agreement whereby Amazon acquired $10 million in EFG-Hermes global depository receipts (GDRs) with the option to replace that investment into valU at a future date, translating into a stake of 4.255 percent of the issued share capital of valU.

GDR is a certificate issued by a depository bank, authorising the purchase of shares in foreign firms.

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