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Sanlam and its short-term insurance subsidiary, Santam, are pleased to announce that they have concluded agreements to jointly acquire an effective 30% stake in Morocco-based Saham Group’s insurance business, Saham Finances S.A. (Saham Finances) for a purchase consideration of US$ 375 million.


Sanlam and Santam will acquire 30% of the share capital of Saham Finances from The Abraaj Group (Abraaj) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is a member of the World Bank Group, and the IFC African Latin American and Caribbean Fund (IFC ALAC Fund), which is managed by IFC Asset Management Company. The Saham Group already holds the majority 62.5% shareholding in Saham Finances.


The transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals and the acquisition by the Saham Group of the remaining stake (7.5%) held by Abraaj, IFC and the IFC ALAC Fund in Saham Finances. On completion of the transaction, Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) will hold 75% and Santam 25% of the stake through a special purpose vehicle.


The transaction is set to expand the Sanlam Group’s footprint across the African continent with entry into new attractive markets for the Group. These include, among others, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Senegal and Cameroon in Francophone West Africa; the Arabic-speaking North African country of Morocco and Lebanon in the Middle East; and Angola in Lusophone Southern Africa.

Saham Finances, one of the largest insurers in Africa, is the market leader in most of the 26 countries in which it operates, writing mostly non-life business. It has a network of over 650 branches, a staff complement of more than 3000 people and a consolidated turnover of over USD1 billion.


It is the largest insurance group in Africa outside of South Africa and has seen steady growth particularly in Africa because of its ambitious and deliberate acquisition strategy. To this end, the company has recently made several acquisitions in Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Angola, among others.


The company, which operates mainly in the insurance, assistance and health administration sectors, has an extensive presence in Africa and the Middle East. It offers a unique and complete service, responding to the expectations of private individuals, professionals and companies.


Sanlam Group’s Chief Executive, Mr Ian Kirk, says: “We believe that Africa presents us with a unique, long-term growth opportunity. This partnership with Saham Finances will provide the Sanlam Group with a significant competitive advantage as no other insurance company can offer the same regional network to the professional and corporate market. This transaction, which is aligned to our diversification strategy, will enable us to access a diversified blend of new high-growth insurance markets in North and West Africa, which are largely underpenetrated.

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