Sanlam Makes $65.9 Million Acquisition

Sanlam Life, a subsidiary of Africa’s premier insurer Sanlam and partially controlled by Africa’s first Black billionaire, Patrice Motsepe, has announced plans to acquire a controlling position in NMS Insurance Services (NMSIS) from MultiChoice for R1.2 billion ($65.91 million).

Sanlam will acquire a 60% ownership in NMSIS from MultiChoice, with a possible earn-out of up to R1.5 billion ($82.5 million) based on NMSIS’s gross written premium performance by December 31, 2026, according to a SENS release today.

This purchase is planned to be completed by January 31, 2025, subject to regulatory approval, allowing MultiChoice to retain a 40% stake in NMSIS.

For nearly two decades, NMSIS has been a prominent participant in MultiChoice’s finance segment, operating under the DStv name in South Africa and focusing in various insurance products such as device, installation, funeral, subscription waiver, and debt waiver. The company has shown strong growth and profitability in the South African market, making it a valuable asset for Sanlam’s expansion strategy.

Sanlam, founded in 1918 and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange with a market valuation of R143 billion ($7.6 billion), is actively pursuing expansion prospects throughout Africa. Sanlam intends to capitalise on the continent’s rising insurance industry and middle class by using its market expertise and established presence.

This acquisition follows Sanlam’s recent strategic investments, which include a controlling share in the Shriram Group’s insurance business in India, and demonstrates the company’s desire to expand its worldwide footprint outside Africa. Patrice Motsepe, Africa’s first Black billionaire, owns 7.8% of Sanlam through his investment vehicle, Ubuntu-Botho Investments, and serves as deputy chairman.

Retaining a major investment in NMS Insurance Services allows MultiChoice to participate in the insurance segment’s future growth potential, which aligns with the company’s objective of increasing shareholder value while focusing on core media and technology businesses.

The acquisition is a watershed moment for Sanlam Life as it looks to strengthen its position in the African insurance sector, with synergistic effects that potentially impact market dynamics in the coming years.

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