Sanlam said it had fulfilled all conditions to acquire the remaining 53.37 percent of Morocco-based SAHAM Finances for an undisclosed amount. Photo: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Sanlam said on Thursday it had fulfilled all conditions to acquire the remaining 53.37 percent of Morocco-based SAHAM Finances for an undisclosed amount after regulators approved the deal.

Sanlam and its subsidiary Santam now own 90 percent and 10 percent respectively in SAHAM Finances. 

The two companies began their partnership in 2016, when Sanlam Emerging Markets acquired a 30 percent stake in SAHAM Finances. Sanlam then increased its stake to 46.6 percent the following year.

Sanlam is significantly extending its African reach through gaining a business with 65 subsidiaries, a network of 700 branches, more than 3 000 employees and $1.2 billion in annual turnover. 

Ian Kirk, group chief executive of Sanlam, said the deal would transform the company into a leading financial services player in Africa, opening the way for a major growth drive on the continent.

“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," Kirk said.

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

Junior Ngulube, chief executive of Sanlam Emerging Markets,  said the African presence of the combined group was 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," Ngulube said. "We are looking for growth across the continent."

SAHAM Finances will be branded as a member of Sanlam group over the short term across its existing businesses. 

At end-2017, SAHAM, which also owns health, food and distribution interests had consolidated net assets worth $850 million and earnings of $77.4 million for the year.

- African News Agency (ANA)