Home » Nigerian multimillionaire Bassim Haidar looks to exit Optasia to focus on cannabis

Nigerian multimillionaire Bassim Haidar looks to exit Optasia to focus on cannabis

by Feyisayo Ajayi

Bassim Haidar, the founder of multinational fintech company Optasia, is looking to either sell the company or list it on an international stock exchange.

Optasia, which was formely known as Channel VAS Group, is a fintech provider of mobile financial services, airtime credit and airtime advance services, handset loans and big data analytics. The company, which was founded in Cameroon in 2012, has its headquarters in Dubai, but it operates across emerging markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

Sources who spoke to Billionaires.Africa confirm that the entrepreneur has hired Moelis & Co as an adviser to explore the best way for institutional investors in the company to exit.

Some of Optasia’s investors include private equity firms Development Partners International, Convergence Partners, Ethos Private Equity and Waha Capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Haidar, 53, was born to Lebanese parents in Nigeria. While he is most famous for founding Optasia, Haidar made an earlier fortune in logistics. He is a co-founder of GMT, a leading integrated procurement, finance and logistics provider in West Africa.

Sources suggest that Haidar seeks to exit Optasia to focus his efforts on his latest ventures. These include SafriCanna, a South African company specializing in medicinal cannabis production for export to Europe, as well as an African e-commerce “buy now pay later” product catering to small and medium-sized businesses.

Haidar is one of the richest Africans of Lebanese descent. Last year, he reportedly paid $25 million for a five-bedroom flat behind Chelsea’s Sloane Square in London.

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