Santam sells its stake in Lion of Africa

11 August 2009 Santam
Ian Kirk, Santam?s Chief Executive

Ian Kirk, Santam?s Chief Executive

After a successful partnership spanning 10 years with South Africa’s first black owned insurance company, Santam today announced its intention to sell its remaining effective interest in Lion of Africa Insurance Company to its existing co-shareholders.

If approved by the Competition authorities, this move will complete a journey that will result in Lion of Africa being fully black owned by the original BEE groups that partnered with Guardian National Insurance Company to create Lion of Africa. Guardian National was acquired by Santam in 2001.

Formed in 1999, the partnership was created long before the inception of the financial services BEE charter.

“This is a story of mutual learnings,” said Ian Kirk, Santam’s Chief Executive.

“While Santam could share best practice from its knowledge of the short-term insurance industry, both Brimstone and Commlife have added value in growing and developing Lion’s business and as a result Lion has benefited immensely from the excellent partnership between its shareholders.” said Kirk.

Especially in the initial years Santam played the role of technical partner and over and above financial support also provided infrastructure, technology, systems and underwriting expertise. During 2005 Santam diluted its stake from 50% to 35% to enable Brimstone Investment Corporation and Commlife Holdings to increase their interest to 65%. Since then Lion of Africa has become completely self sufficient and independent, and it is now appropriate for Santam to exit.

“We are proud of our efforts that have supported Lion of Africa in being well placed for their own future growth,’ said Kirk. “They now no longer need an active technical partner.”

In addition to partnering with Lion of Africa as a successful black insurance company, Santam’s own Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) scheme, Emthunzini consists of three components that include a Staff Trust, Business Partners Trust and Community Trust.

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