Liberty concludes two more short-term insurance transactions in sub-Saharan Africa

19 October 2016 Liberty

The acquisitions will support insurance penetration in the region, positioning the companies for growth.

Liberty Holdings (Liberty) is pleased to announce the conclusion of two more short-term insurance transactions in sub-Saharan Africa following the announcement earlier in the year of the acquisition of East African Underwriters in Uganda. The latest acquisitions include a majority stake in a private short-term insurer in Blantyre Malawi, Charter Insurance Company Ltd (Charter) and the full acquisition of Prefsure (Botswana) Limited in Gaborone (Prefsure). This marks continued progress on Liberty’s African expansion strategy through acquisitions and partnerships to increase its footprint and diversify revenue streams.

Both acquisitions have received all the necessary regulatory approvals in South Africa, Botswana and Malawi.

“Liberty aims to become one of the leading insurers in the growing East, Central and Southern African regions by introducing holistic insurance and investment value propositions that guide customers towards financial freedom” said Liberty Holdings CE, Mr Thabo Dloti. “These transactions compliment the group’s existing short-term insurance businesses in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The transactions also add to the group’s broader Insurance and Investment businesses in these regions; further enhancing our customer value propositions and our ability to service our bancassurance partnership with the Standard Bank Group across the continent”.

Liberty’s ambition is to provide a full insurance offering in selected countries in support of the growth strategy and vision to become a leading insurance provider in chosen customer segments.

Sandile Hlophe, CE of Group Arrangements says that Liberty remains committed to executing on the group’s 2020 growth strategy. “Short-term insurance remains the fastest growing insurance line in sub-Saharan Africa; thus these transactions position the group well to capture growth in the short-term insurance lines.”

Malawi has a growing population of 17 million people, with a GDP of more than US$6 billion in 2015 and growing at around 5% historically. The insurance penetration rate is only around 1%, with the short-term industry currently serviced by seven players. Gross written premiums of the short-term insurers totalled over MWK25 Billion (US$12 million) in 2015.

Botswana in 2015 had a population of just over 2 million people and a GDP of more than US$15 billion. The insurance penetration as a percentage of GDP may only be 3% but represents significant value, with gross written premiums of the short-term insurers adding up to more than US$118 million.

Stuart Wenman, CE for Liberty Africa Insurance said “These transactions will enable the group to provide products and services to clients who operate in more than one jurisdiction through the various in-country businesses, as well as leverage expertise and learnings from other territories.”

“Liberty is focused on delivering a comprehensive customer proposition, and to this end is investing significantly in its technology, distribution and propositions. We are excited to be able to bring this to the Malawian and Botswana markets where we believe we can contribute positively to their growing economies and provide customers with enhanced choices. To remain competitive in the growing Southern, East & Central Africa regions, there is an increasing need for comprehensive insurance propositions, spanning across Life, Health and General Insurance” concludes Mr Wenman.

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