South Africa: Sanlam’s Acquisition of Saham Finances Makes it Africa’s Largest Non-Bank Financial Services Provider

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South African insurance company, Sanlam Limited is celebrating its $1billion corporate acquisition of Saham Finances, a leading North Africa headquartered insurance firm.

The acquisition, subject to regulatory approvals, was announced last week and billed as the single largest insurance firm transaction in Africa.

The deal at a $1.050 billion consideration allows the Sanlam Group to become a truly Pan-African insurance, investment and ancillary services group, able to service multi-national clients and their intermediaries more effectively than any other group operating across the continent.

The deal gives Sanlam access to Saham’s fast-growing African business in 26 countries through 65 subsidiaries across the continent.

Speaking this week when he acknowledged the corporate developments, Sanlam Kenya Acting Group CEO, Mr. George Kuria said the acquisition has effectively positioned the Sanlam Group as Africa’s largest non-bank financial services provider with added benefits for the firm’s clients.

Sanlam Kenya is part of the Sanlam Group and operates under the Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) business cluster which will also cover Saham Finances moving ahead.

“At Sanlam Kenya we welcome and celebrate the developments. Fundamentally, this transaction has no material impact on Sanlam Kenya’s operations at a corporate level as it is an acquisition at the continental Group level,” Kuria said.

“Our clients can now enjoy the added advantage of knowing that we have sufficient scale to cover their needs as we belong to the Sanlam Group; Africa’s largest non-bank financial services provider,” he added.

“The acquisition of the remaining 53% of Saham Finances, which increases our shareholding to 100% in the Group, is the next logical step for Sanlam and enables us to have an even more meaningful presence across sub-Saharan and North Africa, in line with our strategy. 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,” Sanlam Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ian Kirk, said.

He was speaking in South Africa last week at the release of the firm’s Annual Results.

Commenting on the transaction, Saham Group’s spokesperson, Mr Moulay Mhamed Elalamy, said that Saham Group values greatly the partnership with Sanlam, a company that shares the same values and the same ambition for the continent.

“We wish to deepen and diversify this kind of alliance with other major players in order to fast-track our development,” he added.

The acquisition of Saham Finances will enable Sanlam, its subsidiaries and associates to deepen its direct presence in North Africa as well as Francophone West Africa and Southern African Lusophone countries, which provides it with a unique positioning on the African continent.

The two entities will also enjoy potential synergies in general insurance, including optimisation of reinsurance and enhancement of Sanlam’s product line diversification.




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