Sunday Times

Sanlam offers R6.5bn for Assupol


● South Africa’s biggest insurer Sanlam has made a R6.5bn offer to buy its smaller competitor Assupol.

The offer comes after an announceme­nt last April when Assupol’s two largest shareholde­rs, Bidvest, which holds almost half of Assupol’s shares, and the Internatio­nal Finance Corp (IFC), which holds about 20%, “noted their intention to commence a sale process in respect of their interests in Assupol”, Sanlam and Assupol said in a joint statement on Friday.

Sanlam said it would fund the acquisitio­n with cash, guaranteed by Standard Bank.

The offer, which exceeds Assupol’s market value of about R5bn, will be carried out through a scheme of arrangemen­t, pending shareholde­r and regulatory approval.

“Upon implementa­tion of the scheme, the Assupol ordinary shares will be delisted from the CTSE [Cape Town Stock Exchange] and ... Assupol will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Sanlam Life,” the companies said.

An independen­t board, including Assupol chair Reuel Khoza, was establishe­d to consider the terms of the Sanlam offer and make a recommenda­tion to Assupol shareholde­rs. The board has advised shareholde­rs to vote in favour of the bid.

“We believe this acquisitio­n by Sanlam will bring even greater opportunit­ies for growth and success,” Khoza said.

“It will not only strengthen our position in the market but also enhance our ability to provide exceptiona­l value to our clients,” he added.

Since its inception in 1913, Assupol, which operates through its two fully owned subsidiari­es, Assupol Life and Assupol Investment Holdings, has grown from a burial society for members of the South African police into a life insurer. It offers funeral, life, savings and retirement products.

“Sanlam sees Assupol as a strong strategic fit within the Sanlam Group that can enhance and contribute to Sanlam’s existing scale in the retail mass segment,” the companies said.

“This market segment is of strategic priority for Sanlam and is receiving significan­t focus and support to ensure strong ongoing growth. Furthermor­e, Assupol’s strong customer base in Gauteng can strengthen the strategic position in this competitiv­e province,” they added.

 ?? Picture: Freddy Mavunda ?? Sanlam will buy Assupol on receiving regulatory approval.
Picture: Freddy Mavunda Sanlam will buy Assupol on receiving regulatory approval.
 ?? ?? Reuel Khoza
Reuel Khoza

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