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(CAJ News) – SANLAM, the dual-listed financial services group, has received approval for the acquisition of a significant stake in Afrocentric Healthcare Assets Proprietary Limited (AHA).


The 28,7 percent stake, valued at R703 million, is Sanlam’s largest transaction in South Africa since the acquisition of African Life in 2005.


It confirms Sanlam’s commitment to also pursue growth initiatives in South Africa whilst growing its presence in other emerging markets.


Commenting on the partnership, Sanlam Group’s Chief Executive, Ian Kirk, said the partnership with AHA would complement the Group’s retail offering in the South African and the rest of Africa market and positioned it well for the expected growth in the healthcare sector.


“A full basket offering of financial services has become a requisite for growth and increased success in the South African market. A strong medical scheme will enhance Sanlam’s offering, which does not currently have scale commensurate with the rest of its retail offering,” he said.

AHA is a wholly owned subsidiary of AfroCentric Investment Corporation (ACT), a diversified investment holding company, controlled by a number of black empowerment shareholders.


ACT Executive Director, Dr Anna Mokgokong, said this transaction offered them access to Sanlam’s extensive distribution network as well as a suite of financial products.


“We expect the partnership to positively position the ACT Group for further growth,” she said.


AHA owns more than 94 percent of Afrocentric Health Limited which has a 100 percent shareholding in Medscheme Holdings Limited, South Africa’s largest health risk management services provider and the third largest

medical scheme administrator.


Medscheme also has a presence in some of the countries where Sanlam operates – Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Kenya and Mauritius.


In addition, Medscheme has operations in Zimbabwe, where Sanlam Emerging Markets is in the process of completing the acquisition of a 40 percent shareholding in the Zimbabwean-based insurance business of the Masawara Group.