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Sanlam pursues $1bn African deal

Insurer is on track to becoming Africa’s largest non-banking financial service group.

Sanlam is on track to becoming Africa’s largest non-banking financial service group as it plans to acquire 100% of SAHAM Finances.

The insurance group has reached an agreement to purchase the remaining 53.37% shareholding in SAHAM Finances for $1.05 billion. Sanlam, together with subsidiary Santam, first acquired a joint 30% stake in SAHAM in 2016 and a further 16.6% in 2017.

Sanlam chief executive Ian Kirk said increasing Sanlam’s shareholding in SAHAM is the next “logical step” for Sanlam and would allow it to have a more meaningful presence across sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa.

“Since our partnership began in 2016, we have developed a number of projects to unlock synergies between SAHAM Finances and Sanlam. Given our footprint, the transaction positions Sanlam as the ‘go to’ financial services provider for multinationals, brokers, banks, other distribution entities as well as a preferred network of partners for international insurers with no African footprint,” he said.

According to the group, SAHAM is one of the largest insurers in Africa and is the market leader in most of the 26 countries in which it operates in North, West and East Africa as well as in the Middle East. Its subsidiary SAHAM Assurance Morocco is listed on the Casablanca Stock Exchange.

Santam is to confirm the extent of its participation in the deal before the transaction becomes effective, its parent company said.

The transaction is subject to the fulfilment of conditions precedent and regulatory approvals.

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