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Sanlam’s acquisition of Lion Assurance shakes up sector

On Monday, Sanlam General Insurance Uganda Limited (SGIU) officially concluded the acquisition of close to 100 per cent interest in the share capital of Lion Assurance Company Limited.

The initial purchase price of $6.5 million (Shs 23.4bn) sees Sanlam stair up the insurance industry that, for long, has been dominated by traditional giants such as National Insurance Corporation, Statewide Insurance company and Jubilee Insurance, among others.

Sanlam insurance wing is a subsidiary of Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) Proprietary Limited and takes over Lion Assurance’s main field in motor, financial (loan protection and fidelity guarantee), personal accident and fire insurance.

L-R: Sanlam insurance CEO Gary Corbit, Julius Magabe, the regional executive for Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) and  Junior Ngulube, CEO of SEM

SGIU, which offers a broad range of general insurance products for personal, commercial and corporate clients, has a five per cent market share.

Therefore, merging its businesses with Lion Assurance increases its overall market share in the general insurance industry and further improves the competition among the major stakeholders.

Junior Ngulube, SEM’s CEO, said: “Uganda is a key market in Africa and the transaction supports SEM’s strategy of bolt-on acquisitions to achieve scale.”

“We are also confident that this transaction will offer us an opportunity to strengthen our position in the market while benefiting our clients who will have access to the combined expertise of our staff as well our product range.”

Sanlam Group’s aim is strengthening its identity and expanding its visibility in East Africa, where it also has a presence in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Commenting on the transaction, Gary Corbit, the SGIU CEO, said: “This is an exciting development for all stakeholders. Policy holders will have the same or better policy terms and conditions. On the other hand, staff will have the training and development opportunities that the largest insurer in Africa, Sanlam, can provide.

“This acquisition has strengthened the market and industry. It also ensures customers get even better service delivery on their claims. Sanlam will be making 100 years in the industry next year and this one of the moves that proves that we are stronger together” he noted.

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