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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.

“We are confident that the continent’s growing population, improved political landscape and the evolving financial markets and regulatory environment support our vision of being a leading Pan-African financial services company.”

Both groups boast individual product strengths with Saham Finances being strong in general insurance, medical insurance and assistance businesses. Sanlam, on the other hand, has strengths in life and non-life specialist businesses as well as asset management.

SEM’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Heinie Werth said: “Although established just 20 years ago, Saham Finances is a well-established business with an impressive footprint across 26 countries in which they have achieved many market leading positions. We are particularly pleased about the well-diversified portfolio which is complementary to our geographic footprint. The transaction will significantly bolster our non-life exposure across the continent.

“We look forward to a solid partnership with Saham Finances, which is a business steeped in values that are common to ours. We will deepen our relationship with Saham Finances as we explore future opportunities together,” Werth said.

Sanlam Life Insurance is a licensed financial service provider.
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