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IFC and Abraaj sell Saham Finances stakes

IFC, the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean (ALAC) Fund and The Abraaj Group have exited their combined 37.5% stake in insurer Saham Finances to Sanlam Group, the South African financial services company and Saham Group, a Moroccan conglomerate and the parent company of Saham Finances. Sanlam is acquiring 30% of the company for $375 million according to Bloomberg, with Saham Group acquiring the balance of 7.5%. No additional terms of the deal were reported.

Saham has become one of the largest pan-African insurance groups, currently operating 31 insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries in 26 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The company is now the market leader in most of the countries it operates in, with a network of over 650 branches, a staff complement of more than 3000 people, and a consolidated turnover of over $1 billion.

“Our investment and partnership with Saham have helped create a truly regional leader in the African insurance market. We expect further dynamic growth from Saham in the years to come,” said Gavin Wilson, CEO of IFC Asset Management Company.

Abraaj, IFC and IFC ALAC all originally invested in Saham Finances in 2012. Since then, the investors supported the company’s ambitious growth strategy by facilitating strategic acquisitions in high growth markets including Angola, Kenya and Nigeria. Over the course of the investment, Saham Finances has added 11 new subsidiaries, more than tripling the company’s net income base as well as working with the company’s management to establish greater institutionalization through improved corporate governance, enhanced financial reporting, and the establishment of a best in class MIS in order to manage the integration and development of systems across the Company’s subsidiaries.

Commenting on the transaction, Ahmed Baldredin, Abraaj’s Regional Head for the Middle East and North Africa said, “We have enjoyed a strong partnership with Saham Finances over the course of our investment and, together, helped grow the business into a leading insurance player providing diversified products and services to a growing client base. We believe the business is now well positioned to capture further market share across the continent and support the exciting new alliance between the Sanlam and Saham Group”.

IFC ALAC Fund Co-Head Colin Curvey said, “We are pleased with the partnership the IFC ALAC Fund has cultivated with Saham. We have supported an excellent business in a critical growth phase and we are confident it will continue to build on its strengths going forward.”

The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, once the transaction has received regulatory approval.

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