Sanlam Ltd., Africa’s largest insurer, agreed to form a joint venture with Germany’s Allianz SE that will combine their assets on the continent valued at 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) and help the partnership expand.
Sanlam and Allianz will fold their respective African operations—excluding those operating in South Africa—into a new unit majority controlled by the Cape Town-based group, according to a statement on Wednesday. They agreed to remain invested for at least 10 years.
The deal “will enable Sanlam to enhance its capabilities in existing markets and expand its footprint,” the company said, while utilizing Allianz’s scale and expertise as one of the world’s largest financial services groups.
Africa’s finance industry is facing a major shakeup, with mobile-phone giants and fintech startups challenging the traditional banking and insurance providers. That’s left established operators to urgently strive to adapt, introducing products and services to take advantage of rapidly growing digitization and smartphone payments.
Sanlam shares gained 0.5 percent as of 9:41 a.m. in Johannesburg, while Allianz, the parent company of insurance giant PIMCO, fell 0.8 percent in Frankfurt.
–With assistance from Stephan Kahl.
Photograph: Flags with the Allianz logo fly in front of the Olympic Tower in Munich, Germany. Photo credit: Guido Krzikowski/Bloomberg