Sanlam, Santam JV to buy rest of SAHAM Finances for $1.05 bln

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(Reuters) – South African life insurer Sanlam Ltd (SLMJ.J) said a unit of its joint venture with insurer Santam Ltd (SNTJ.J) would buy the remaining 53.37 percent stake in SAHAM Finances for $1.05 billion.

The unit, Sanlam Emerging Markets Ireland Ltd (SEMIL), would buy all shares of SAHAM SA, which currently holds the stake in SAHAM Finances not already owned by SEMIL.

SEMIL is a unit of SAN JV Proprietary Ltd, a special purpose vehicle owned by Sanlam’s emerging markets unit and Santam.

SEMIL first bought a 30 percent stake in SAHAM Finances in February 2016 and later bought 16.63 percent more in May 2017.

The acquisition of SAHAM Finances would help increase Sanlam’s direct presence in sub-Saharan and North Africa, and boosts Sanlam’s exposure to high-growth markets as well as general insurance products, the company said.

The deal will be funded by using a combination of available capital, debt facilities and the issuance of equity instruments, Sanlam and Santam said in a joint statement.

Santam said it would confirm the extent of its participation before the deal becomes effective, expected to occur during the second half of 2018.

Sanlam separately reported a 1.4 percent drop in full-year profit, hurt by recession in its home market.

Diluted headline earnings per share fell to 481.3 South African cents for the year ended Dec. 31 from 488.1 cents a year earlier.

Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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