LeapFrog Investments, the specialist emerging markets private equity investor, is making its third direct investment in Ghana by acquiring a majority stake in UT Life Insurance in an undisclosed deal. The stake is being acquired from UT Holdings, a diversified holding company, who originally acquired the life insurance company in 2010. UT Holdings will remain a shareholder in UT Life and serve as a strong local counterparty to support the business on the ground.
UT Life, which targets the mass market, has a significant share of the funeral and educational savings policy market in Ghana, and has a goal to reach over 1 million customers by 2020. With insurance penetration rates of less than 2%, the market offers the company significant expansion opportunities. Currently, the company operates a network of 9 branches across Ghana and also distributes its offering through a bancassurance arrangement with UT Bank, which has 30 bank branches across the West African country.
Commenting on the transaction, Doug Lacey, a Partner at LeapFrog said “We are attracted by UT’s unwavering commitment to Ghana’s mass-market. UT Life is exceptionally well positioned to grow, to prosper and to help millions to make the most of their lives. We’re backing that potential.”
LeapFrog is one of the fastest-growing investors in Africa, garnering a $200 million commitment from the U.S. development finance institution OPIC in December, making it the first billion-dollar group dedicated to impact equity investing. Last week the investor announced a $350 million joint venture investment platform joint venture with U.S. insurance giant Prudential which will be managed outside LeapFrog’s existing buyout funds, deploying its capital over the next three to five years.