News Africa13 Jul 2020

East Africa:Mauritian insurer completes acquisition in Kenya

13 Jul 2020

MUA, the leading insurance company in Mauritius, has completed its purchase of Saham Assurance Company Kenya Saham Kenya, reaching an important milestone in its expansion strategy in East Africa.

MUA acquired Saham Kenya,Saham Assurance through its subsidiary MUA Insurance (Kenya). Present in the region since 2014, following the acquisition of Phoenix Transafrica Holdings (with a presence in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda), MUA significantly strengthens its local presence through this acquisition, sending out a strong signal about the group's confidence in the Kenyan insurance sector.

The transaction follows regulatory approval by the Insurance Regulatory Authority of Kenya, the COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa )Competition Commission and the South African Reserve Bank. The Kenya Competition Authority was also duly notified of the acquisition.

Saham Kenya, previously owned by the pan-African insurance group Sanlam Pan Africa, is one of the most dynamic insurance companies in Kenya. With an experienced management team, a strong reputation in the market and extensive operational knowledge, Saham Kenya’s integration into MUA is complementary and opportune. The two companies share certain key characteristics in terms of corporate structure, values, culture and market knowledge.

The CEO of Saham Kenya, Lydia Kibaara, will oversee the merged entity. The current CEO of MUA Kenya, Ashraf Musbally, retains oversight of the East African subsidiaries and remains on the Board of the holding company.

The consolidated business, which will operate under the MUA brand, will have the full support of the parent company in Mauritius, in order to achieve critical mass in Kenya and ensure long term sustainability.

MUA's development strategy in Kenya and in the region is based on the professionalism of its intermediaries and enhanced product and service offering, through the extensive use of new technologies and the deployment of innovative marketing tools to expand its customer base. This has been particularly successful in the retail sector, but also among SMEs and corporates, with a wide range of insurance products. The group’s expansion strategy focuses on increasing insurance penetration in Kenya, a market with enormous potential in a context of rapid population growth.

The challenge of the convergence of insurance products, especially with consumer products, is at the heart of the future of the insurance business and MUA intends to fully contribute to the insurance market in Kenya, particularly through its experience in integrating digital tools into the client experience. The new entity will be able to offer solutions for more specialised insurance risks, including cyber risks and aviation risks combined with professional service and a global approach to risk assessment. MUA has focused firmly on digital innovation over the last few years, with the launch of online travel insurance and death cover via the USSD mobile application.

Mr Bertrand Casteres, group CEO of MUA, said, "With this acquisition, we confirm our growth path and long-term ambitions in Kenya. It is also a validation of our three-year strategy "Ambition 2020" which plans substantial investments to finance our growth in Kenya and more broadly in East Africa. Today, the East Africa operations account for about a quarter of our revenue.
“We are striving to significantly increase this contribution over the next three years and join the top 10 insurance companies in Kenya.”

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