MAX.ng Sells N400m Bonds from N10bn Debt Scheme

Max.ng N400m Bond

By Adedapo Adesanya

Metro African Xpress, otherwise known as MAX.ng, has announced the successful issuance of a N400 million one-year fixed-rate notes series 1 bond, making it the first bond issued by a mobility company in Africa.

The bond is the first tranche of its newly N10 billion ($22 million) multicurrency Private Company Bond (PCB) programme and was offered to pre-selected investors.

The Nigerian mobility startup made the disclosure on Monday, September 28, 2020, adding that the transaction was arranged by DLM Advisory Limited, a developmental investment bank regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In the notice seen by Business Post, MAX noted that proceeds from the papers will be used to fund its growing asset financing program across 2-wheeler, 3-wheeler and other vehicle classes in Nigeria and beyond, as MAX continues to institutionalize driver financing across the continent.

It added that despite the challenging global economic backdrop, “the bond, distributed through a private placement, received strong interest from highly reputable local and international fixed-income investors that are seeking exposure to a high-quality issuer like MAX.”

Speaking on the success of the milestone, Mr Adetayo Bamiduro, CEO and co-founder of MAX.ng noted, “MAX is extremely pleased with the successful bond issuance, which reflects the market confidence in MAX’s mission, strategy and execution capabilities.

“This is further evidence that MAX remains at the forefront of technology, financial and business model innovation to solve a fundamental aspect of Africans’ lives.”

Also, Chief Growth Officer and co-founder of MAX.ng, Mr Chinedu Azodoh said, “the fully integrated and innovative nature of MAX’s DVC [driver-vehicle-collection] technology stack was essential to demonstrating our ability to scale and manage an ever-growing pool of financed drivers across six cities with unmatched efficiency, speed and agility.

“This funding was delivered on the basis of those proprietary technology capabilities that enable heightened levels of portfolio scrutiny and monitoring. These were fundamental to successfully closing this trailblazing transaction.”

Mr Sonnie Ayere, Group CEO of DLM Capital Group, added; “This is a bold step in advancing DLM’s developmental driven mandate by providing innovative solutions to meet the funding needs of players in key sectors of the economy, through the capital markets. MAX has positioned itself at the forefront of its industry with its unique business model that deploys technology to cater to the peculiarity of mobility within Nigeria’s major cities.

“In addition to this, the MAX funding program has played positively in the aspect of employment creation. Given the average cost of the vehicles financed, the capital unlocked through the Series 1 Bond will lead to the creation of close to 1,400 additional jobs, which in turn has a positive multiplier effect on the Nigerian economy.

“As a developmental Investment Bank committed to creating direct impacts to the lives of people, we have put our money where our mouth is and have taken a credit decision to support their inaugural issuance, due to its strong credit fundamentals and the social and economic impact it brings. We are delighted to have assisted MAX on this significant stride.”

On his part, Mr Guy-Bertrand Njoya, Chief Financial Officer of MAX.ng, “most exciting for us about this ground-breaking funding structure is being able to close it amidst the current social and economic uncertainty.

“We are deeply honoured by the confidence shown by the investment community in our ability to continue leveraging access to wholesale finance as well as other internal capabilities — including proprietary technology solutions, exclusive vehicle manufacturer deals, low-cost credit, discounted insurance and other financial services — to serve the growing group of overlooked, underserved, unbanked or underbanked Africans like it has never been done before.”

Mr Emeka Ngene, the head of DLM Advisory also commented that “This is in keeping with the vision of the DLM brand. With a commitment to increasingly deepen the penetration of the domestic capital markets with every new project we undertake, delivering this assignment for MAX further helps in driving that concept. It will be good to also make special mention of the team at the Shell Foundation who played a key role in the delivery of this mandate by the provision of catalytic capital.

“At DLM we have always believed that local currency funding is the way to go for businesses like MAX with significant impact potential. Our hope now is that the success of this deal further paves the way for more collaboration towards providing similar solutions for other businesses with clear development objectives.”

MAX forayed into the mobility scene to ease the transportation problem in Lagos, but it has since moved to various offerings in other transport and logistics services following the restriction of commercial motorcycles and tricycles by the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration earlier this year.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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