French insurer AXA has signed an agreement to acquire a 7.15% interest in African Reinsurance (Africa Re), for around $61m (€53m).
Established in 1976 by the member states of the African Union and the African Development Bank (ADB), Africa Re provides services across the continent.
AXA deputy CEO Denis Duverne said: "This transaction is another step in our African strategy and follows on from our recent acquisition of Mansard in Nigeria and our partnership with the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation.
"At the same time, this new step confirms our commitment to the African continent, where we believe insurance has a crucial role to play in promoting economic development, due to its contribution to improving risk management, protection and prevention."
The deal will allow AXA to expand its operations in the reinsurance and insurance markets of Africa, through using the knowledge of Africa Re in the local markets.
Currently, 41 member states, the ADB, and around 100 African insurance and reinsurance companies own 75% stake in Africa Re, while other development finance institutions and strategic partners own remaining stake in the company.
With gross written premiums of €505m and net income of €64m in 2013, Africa Re has a strong reinsurance market in countries such as Nigeria and Egypt, claimed to be key priorities for AXA.
In December, AXA completed the acquisition of 100% stake in Assur Africa Holdings (AAH), for €198m.
Providing insurance and asset management services, AXA Group has 102 million clients in 56 countries.
Image: AXA building in Brno. Photo: courtesy of Frettie.