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CAPE TOWN - The Hollard Insurance Group, South Africa’s largest independent insurer, on Friday announced the disposal of its stake in Cedar Employee Benefits to NMG Benefits, the South African arm of the international NMG Group.

NMG’s chief executive Jacky Mathekga expressed his delight with the outcome and said: “Cedar is a profitable and very well-managed employee-benefits business that provides valuable services to retirement fund and healthcare clients throughout South Africa.

"I look forward to welcoming the Cedar management and all its employees into NMG, and to working together for the benefit of all our customers.”

The combined NMG Benefits and Cedar businesses will have more than 1000 corporate clients, with about 450 staff looking after about R200billion in retirement fund assets.

This makes NMG the second-largest employee-benefit operation in the southern hemisphere.

Hollard chief executive Saks Ntombela said: “We acquired the Cedar business as part of the larger R1.8bn Regent transaction.

"However, the Cedar offering is not core to our business strategy, so we decided to dispose of our stake in a way that balanced our transformation objectives with financial impact.

"Our shareholders strongly supported this approach and we look forward to seeing NMG continue to grow and thrive under Jacky’s leadership."

This will provide Mathekga with funding to enable the acquisition of a larger stake.