South Africa’s largest insurer Sanlam said it bought out the remaining 65 per cent stake in Nigerian insurance business FBN Insurance it did not already own from First Bank, deepening its presence in Nigeria insurance sector. Sanlam did not disclose the value of the deal, which will now give the company full control of the joint venture that began with First Bank in 2011.
The Boards of FBN Holdings Plc (“FBNH”) confirmed the sale in a statement saying they have completed the sale of FBN Holdings Plc’s 65% shares in FBN Insurance Limited to Sanlam via a Share Purchase Agreement (“SPA”). This effectively confers full ownership of FBN Insurance Limited (Life) and its subsidiary, FBN General Insurance Limited on Sanlam forthwith, following receipt of all relevant regulatory approvals.
Both organisations had activated the Shareholders’ Agreement which provided pre-emptive rights to Sanlam. Accordingly, and as had been indicated in the SPA, the effective date of the Divestment is June 01, 2020. Commenting on the divestment, UK Eke, MFR, Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc said ‘’The divestment is in line with the Group’s medium to long term strategic objectives. This will ultimately improve our shareholders’ wellbeing and deliver greater value to all the stakeholders”. “Over the years we have enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership with FBNH, and we will continue to cooperate with them in the future. Sanlam exercised its pre-emptive right to acquire the remaining shareholding of FBNI and in line with our partnership philosophy that underpins our business model, we will introduce local shareholding at an appropriate time in the future.
This transaction is evidence of our belief and confidence in the value and future of the business, as well as the skilled management team and staff. Moreover, we are committed to Nigeria and view it as a key market on the continent,” said Sanlam Emerging Markets (Proprietary) Limited’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Heinie Werth. This divestment however, has no impact on FBN Insurance Brokers Limited as it remains a wholly owned subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc. Since its establishment 20 years ago, the firm has continued to provide bespoke Insurance Broking and Advisory Services to the FBN Holdings Group and its customers.