M&A deals multiple handshakesAllianz Group plans to pay more than $275 million for Zurich Insurance’s Moroccan subsidiary.

The deal for Zurich Assurances Maroc is expected to close at the end of 2016, pending regulatory approvals. Zurich’s sale of its Moroccan division follows a similar agreement to sell its Taiwan general insurance operations to Hotai Motor Co. Ltd.

What Allianz is getting for $275.1 million: One of Morocco’s largest insurance companies and a big stepping stone for an Africa expansion.

Zurich Assurances Maroc serves more than 600,000 customers and is ranked seventh in the country’s property/casualty market, according to the deal announcement. It also has a license for life and health insurance products, and Allianz said it plans to use those too.

Also, Morocco is Africa’s second-largest insurance market outside of South Africa, Allianz said.

Sergio Balbinot, board member of Allianz SE in charge of southern and western Europe, Africa, MENA and India, said the purchase represents “a major milestone” for Allianz’s strategy to expand in Africa.

“Morocco presents good growth prospects for both personal and commercial lines,” Balbinot said in prepared remarks. “We will be able to support both our Moroccan and international customers in their local and international business.”

Balbinot added that Allianz is “an employer of choice in Africa” and that the insurer looks forward “to developing and promoting local talents in a growing market.”

Source: Allianz