South African financial services group Sanlam will acquire the remaining 53.37% stake in Saham Group's insurance business for $1.05bn.

The insurance business of Saham began its development in Africa in 2010. Currently, it has operations in 26 countries via 35 insurance companies.

Sanlam, which has been Saham’s partner since February 2016, has a market capitalization of more than $16bn.

The company is planning to strengthen its position in the continent with the agreement.

Saham group attracted a total of $ 1.7bn of foreign investments to Morocco since 2012, mostly via its partnership with Sanlam.

This transaction is subject to agreements by several regulators, and will be followed, in accordance with Moroccan stock market regulations, by an offer for a takeover bid of Saham Assurance Morocco’s shares, a company listed on the Casablanca Stock Exchange.

Sanlam Group CEO Ian Kirk said: “We welcome this opportunity to strengthen our investment in the Kingdom of Morocco, a major African gateway and a country which enjoys institutional and macro-economic stability.

“Our investments alongside Saham Group reflects a mutually beneficial intra-African partnership, and we hope to work together on other major projects in the future.”

After the transaction is completed, Saham Group intends to transform into a Pan-African investment fund with the aim to strengthen its position as a strategic continental economic player.

Saham group said with its African expertise and commitment to address large-scale projects, it will transform into a Pan-African investment fund, with a goal expand its position as a strategic continental economic player.

Following the transaction, the transformation into an investment fund will extend the company's footprint, with more than 14.000 employees and several sectors in its portfolio.

Saham Group’s spokesman Moulay Mhamed Elalamy said: “Saham Group's DNA lies within its ability to bring together leading international investors, such as the World Bank, Kingdom Zephyr, Abraaj, Allianz, Bertelsmann, Wendel and more recently the Sanlam Group.

“As part of its transformation into a Pan-African Investment Fund, Saham will now attract new partners, to break new ground, and invest in future-oriented businesses, development accelerators for our country and our continent.”

Image: SAHAM Group plans to transform into a Pan-African investment after the acquisition. Photo: Courtesy of etaphop/