Sanlam, a South Africa-based financial services group, has completed the acquisition of a 53.37% stake in Moroccan insurance company Saham Finances, which it previously did not own, in a $1.05bn deal.


Image: Saham Finances acquired 100% by Sanlam. Photo: courtesy of rawpixel/

Saham Finances was the insurance division of Saham Group.

The transaction, which has been approved by regulators across various jurisdictions, takes the direct stake of Sanlam in Saham Finances to 90%. The remaining 10% is held by Sanlam’s short-term insurance subsidiary Santam.

In 2015, Sanlam and Santam jointly agreed to buy a 30% stake in Saham Finances for around $375m from The Abraaj Group, International Finance Corporation (IFC), and IFC African Latin American and Caribbean Fund. In March 2018, Sanlam signed a deal with Saham Group to acquire the remaining 53.37% stake in the latter’s Moroccan insurance company.

The majority stake in Saham Finances is expected to grow Sanlam’s multinational client base and boost its position in specialist insurance and employee benefits. The transaction is also expected to help Sanlam serve as the preferred partner for insurers who do not have any presence across Africa.

Sanlam Group CEO Ian Kirk said: “The confluence of the combined footprint and respective expertise of Sanlam, Santam and SAHAM Finances provides the Sanlam Group with an opportunity to grow its Life Insurance businesses in Francophone markets as well as leveraging the Group’s expertise to grow the general insurance portfolio.

“We are uniquely positioned to be the ‘go to’ financial services partner for multinationals doing business on the continent.”

Saham Finances, which was formed in 2010, has operations across 26 countries through 35 insurance companies.

For Sanlam, the acquisition expands its footprint in 33 countries stretching from the Cape to the Maghreb and East and West Africa.

Sanlam emerging markets CEO Junior Ngulube said: “The African presence of the combined Group is unparalleled in the industry. With expertise across life, general and specialist insurance and investment management in Africa we now have significant opportunities for cross-selling and diversification.

“Through Santam, we will offer specialist insurance solutions. We are looking for growth across the continent.”

Sanlam has retained Nadia Fettah as the CEO of Saham Finances and alongside the company’s Deputy CEO Emmanuel Brule will join the executive committee of Sanlam Emerging Markets.