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Liberty Holdings expands into East Africa through CfCIH acquisition

03 December 2009 Liberty
Bruce Hemphill, Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Holdings

Bruce Hemphill, Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Holdings

Liberty Holdings will bolster its African footprint when it assumes an approximate 57% controlling share of CfC Insurance Holdings (“CfCIH”), a leading Kenyan life, health and general insurance group consisting of CfC Life Assurance (“CfC Life”) and The Heritage Insurance Company (“Heritage”). This follows a restructure of the Standard Bank group’s East African assets. Standard Bank controls Liberty Holdings through its 53.6% stake in Africa’s leading wealth manager.

“Liberty has made clear its strategic intent to grow its business within Africa’s important economies, leveraging off Standard Bank’s presence, and specifically to develop a presence in East Africa. This transaction checks all three of those boxes and while the acquistion is small within the context of the overall group it provides a strategic platform which is expected to add significant value to shareholders into the future,” says Bruce Hemphill, Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Holdings.

Hemphill adds: “Our intention is to enter markets that are benefiting from political and regulatory stability, where there is strong economic growth and where there is potential for greater penetration of wealth products. A combination of these factors provides an ideal opportunity to build critical mass in the region.”

CfC Life and Heritage are providers of life, health and short-term insurance products in both the Kenyan and Tanzanian markets. CfCIH is an ideal platform from which to achieve Liberty’s growth objectives of establishing a leading position in the life, health, short term and asset management wealth pillars in East Africa.

Liberty expects the medium- to long- term benefits in acquiring control of the business to include:

    • As a separate listed entity with Liberty as an anchor shareholder, CfCIH will benefit from greater focus and the value available from having a strategic shareholder with significant insurance expertise and access to funds for growth;
    • CfCIH will be positioned to benefit from economies of scale, the extraction of synergies between the businesses and from greater capital efficiency, resulting in improved returns for all shareholders; and
    • the restructured businesses will provide Liberty with a sound platform for organic and acquisitive growth in Kenya and elsewhere in the region.

Hemphill concludes: “The acquisition provides us with the full range of wealth pillars and opens up further opportunities in East Africa, a region that is of strategic importance to Liberty.”

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