Fairfax Financial Holdings has signed an agreement to acquire Zurich Insurance Company South Africa (ZICSA).


ZICSA operates in South Africa and Botswana, with investments in Swaziland and Mauritius.

Established in 1965, the company employs more than 800 people and operates under the leadership of CEO Edwyn O’Neill.

The company provides products for commercial, corporate, small and medium enterprises. It also offers personal line products, as well as other specialist products and propositions.

Subject to customary closing conditions, including various regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to complete by the end of the fourth quarter this year.

The deal expands Fairfax’s operations in Africa. Last year, the company acquired a 7.15% stake in Africa Re.

Fairfax chairman and CEO Prem Watsa said: "We are pleased to have ZICSA join the Fairfax group.

"It is a high-quality and well-known regional business, with an outstanding management team led by Edwyn O’Neill.

"Africa is a continent that represents a long-term growth opportunity for Fairfax, but where we have traditionally done little primary commercial insurance business."

Last year, Fairfax acquired Lloyd’s of London specialty insurer and reinsurer Brit for around $1.88bn.

The deal allowed Fairfax to leverage its expertise in the US and international insurance and reinsurance markets, as well as expand its group risk portfolio.

Through its subsidiaries, Fairfax offers property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, and investment management services.

Image: Fairfax to acquire Zurich Insurance Company South Africa. Photo: courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.