Santam offices. File Image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - South African financial services group, Sanlam, on Wednesday completed the cash placing of 65.5 million new ordinary shares in the company with institutional investors at a price of R87 per placing share to raise R5.7 billion.

The placing was conducted via an accelerated book-building process. The listing and trading of the placing shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is expected to commence on Tuesday, 3 April 2018, subject to approval by the JSE.

In addition, and subject to approval by the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX), the placing shares will also be listed on the NSX.

Sanlam said that the net proceeds from the placing will be utilized partly to fund the group's acquisition of the remaining 53.37 percent shareholding in SAHAM Finances (SAHAM) announced earlier this month. 

SAHAM is the largest insurer in Africa outside South Africa and is the market leader in most of the 26 countries in which it operates in North, West and East Africa. The company owns 58.48 percent of SAHAM Assurance Morocco, which is listed on the Casablanca Stock Exchange.

The transaction is subject to the fulfillment of a number of conditions precedent, including various regulatory approvals, and is expected to conclude in the third quarter of 2018.

Sanlam group chief executive, Ian Kirk, said that the acquisition of 100 percent of SAHAM would enable Sanlam to have an even more meaningful presence across sub-Saharan and North Africa, in line with the group's strategy. 

"The success of this placing indicates the significant investor confidence in Sanlam following a long period of consistent delivery on our strategic priorities and is evidence of the renewed confidence in South Africa as well," Kirk said. 

"We believe our investment in SAHAM, once completed, will add value to all our stakeholders and it is a critical milestone in our centenary year as we look to sustain our growth and performance in the years ahead."

Sanlam said it wants to be the 'go to' financial services provider for multinationals, brokers, banks, other distribution entities as well as a preferred network of partners for international insurers with no African footprint. 

 - African News Agency (ANA)