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Cases & Deals

November 30, 2020

King and Spalding Advises Western Union on Partial Acquisition Creating the First Unicorn in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Riyadh, November 21, 2020 - The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU, Western Union) entered into an agreement to subscribe for new shares for a stake of up to 15% in STC’s digital secure wallet and financial technology services arm, stc Pay.

The transaction values stc Pay at US$ 1.3 billion, thus creating the first Unicorn in Saudi Arabia, the third Unicorn in the Middle East, and the first in the Middle East for Fintech.

Western Union is the world’s largest money transfer firm. stc Pay provides digital and financial services to individuals and companies and launched a digital wallet mobile application in 2018. It currently has more than 4.5 million users. Its parent, STC, is listed on the Saudi Tadawul and its majority owner is the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, and is the leading Saudi telecommunications services provider.

Unusually for a transaction of its size and nature, signing took place only three weeks after the start of the exclusivity period.  This required the K&S team to work around the clock and across multiple offices/time zones in a fully-integrated manner with Western Union’s in-house and business team in Denver, CO., with initially a set of meetings in Dubai and then solely on-screen drafting via Zoom taking the place of physical meetings owing to COVID-19 challenges.