The Georgian TBC Bank Group has become the owner of a 100% stake in the payment service Payme (Inspired Ltd.), the press service of the holding company said.

TBC Bank Group, which held a 51% stake in Payme, bought the remaining 49% for $55.7 million. The payment will be satisfied in cash within 10 banking days from the date of the completion, implying a total valuation of $113.6 million for Payme.

Before the deal, the 49% stake was divided among Abdulaziz Abdulakhadov (15%), Sarvar Ruzmatov (15%), Farrukh Ziyayev (7.5%) and two other individuals (11.5%).

Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, Chief Executive Officer, stated that this acquisition is in line with the bank’s previously outlined expansion strategy in Uzbekistan to create a leading fintech ecosystem.

It will allow us to capture the strong synergy potential between the payments business and our digital bank, TBC UZ, by leveraging a large user base and a diverse product range. I strongly believe that our joint efforts in these two businesses will accelerate the achievement of our mid-term targets for our Uzbek operations: return of equity of at least 30%, monthly active users of 5 million, and 10−15% share of the Group’s net income."

Recall that in April 2019, TBC acquired a 51% stake in Payme for $5.5 million with a company valuation of $10.8 million, more than 10 times the current valuation.

While Payme had gross assets of $700,000 at the end of 2018 and the total revenue and profit before tax for the year to December 2022 amounted to USD 17.5 million and USD 11.4 million, respectively, compared to USD 1.6 million and USD 0.8 million, respectively, in 2018. The number of monthly active customers was 3.1 million at the end of March 2023, compared to 1.3 million users in April 2019.