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EastNets completes acquisition of SIDE International

Acquisition to strengthen global Anti-Money Laundering initiatives and facilitate international expansion

EastNets, a leading payment and security solutions provider for the Middle East’s governments and financial institutions, is happy to announce that it has completed the acquisition of SIDE International, headquartered in Luxemburg. SIDE International is the provider of SafeWatch Anti-Money Laundering (AML), judged as the second best filtering solution worldwide, according to the CELENT second report on “Evaluating the vendors of Anti-Money Laundering Solutions.”

Under the terms of the acquisition, the two companies will form a combined entity and EastNets will incorporate SIDE International’s full product portfolio into the EastNets group of products and services.

The move will enable EastNets to tap into international markets using EastNets services and SIDE International’s solutions including its popular SafeWatch product, an AML program which acts as a central checking point for financial traffic that performs reporting, auditing and detection on transactions and customer data. The acquisition will also strengthen global AML initiatives by providing automated solutions to banks and financial institutes to deal with thousands of transactions per day. The Money Laundering Regulation strictly requires financial institutions to ensure that customers’ transactions are in compliance. As recent statistics indicate that USD 5 billion in laundered money can result in losses worth up to USD 11.26 billion in GDP and affect 250,000 jobs globally.

Commenting on the acquisition, Hazem Mulhim, Chief Executive Officer, EastNets said, “This is a pivotal move in the history of our company and we are confident that the alliance will enable us to secure and develop our strong presence in international markets. We also hope to create a more secure financial atmosphere in the region by providing more technologically advanced solutions to reduce Money Laundering’s repercussions on security and welfare.”

SIDE International is a solutions provider for the financial industry and works in close association with SWIFT to address the needs of financial institutions by providing value-added products and services that complement the SWIFT product range. The company’s portfolio of solutions enables organizations to reduce financial risk, and improve operational efficiency and financial control.

“With this acquisition, we will have the opportunity to accomplish our vision of creating an industry-defining platform that offers innovative and cutting-edge products. We are delighted about the acquisition and the creation of a strong unified company that supports the growth of the regional and international financial industry,” said Luc Delbrassinne, Chief Executive Officer, SIDE.

The synergy that will be created as a result of this acquisition will allow for greater market penetration globally, especially Europe and USA where SIDE International is a SWIFT Business and Service partner and one of the market leaders in the AML sector. SIDE has more than 470 clients using its wide range of products and services.

The success and experience of EastNets in financial applications and its EastNets Service Bureau outsourcing facilities allow for greater opportunities and better economies of scale. This will help extend the EastNets advantage to the European and North American markets.

The acquisition of the companies will offer employees better growth / career development opportunities. The management will stay committed to continuous innovation to provide better solutions to its customers.

Headquartered in Dubai, EastNets has been providing technologically advanced payment solutions to financial and government sectors throughout the Middle East for more than 22 years and the company is the SWIFT Business Partner and the SWIFT Service Partner in the MENA region. SWIFT is the worldwide financial messaging network that enables messages to be securely exchanged between banks and other financial institutions.

EastNets has achieved success in different areas including its PayGate™ solution, a single application window that is designed to improve Straight through Processing (STP) and reduce risk in day-to-day operations over the SWIFT network for international trade, fund management and market infrastructure transactions. EastNets hopes to tap into Side International’s client base to develop the sales of its PayGate™ product suite. EastNets has more than 450 clients distributed across the EMENA region, with a distinguished track record and client portfolio across a wide range of industries. In addition to its presence in the UAE, EastNets is strategically positioned in five other major markets, with offices in Jordan, Turkey, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bahrain.