Nigeria’s insurance market with heats up with Allianz’s acquisition of Ensure Insurance

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Germany’s frontline insurance provider, Allianz, has just acquired Ensure Insurance, a local insurance provider that ranked amongst Nigeria’s major risk managers.

To confirm the acquisition, Allianz said in an official statement that the move is to expand its move into the African continent.

Allianz confirmed that it acquired acquire 98% of Nigerian insurer Ensure Insurance Plc. from its core shareholder Greenoaks Global Holdings Ltd. (GGH).

Ensure Insurance Plc. offers life and non-life insurance services and generated 11 million euros in gross premiums written in 2016.

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Allianz Group said in the statement that it views Africa as one of the important future growth markets and is now present in 17 countries across the region. Nigeria, a fast growing country with a population of more than 180 million citizens, is the country with the largest GDP on the continent.

“Nigeria is one of the most dynamic economies in Africa. The acquisition of Ensure Insurance Plc. gives us full access to this key insurance market in Africa and marks a major milestone for Allianz’s long-term growth strategy on the continent. This new step of development will allow us to offer the best products and services to Nigerian customers in both personal and commercial lines. In addition, as we grow our excellent African teams, we are laying particular emphasis on hiring and developing local talent,” said Coenraad Vrolijk, Regional CEO Africa of Allianz SE.

Allianz disclosed that the deal is pending regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close end of 2017 when Ensure Insurance Plc. shall become a member of the Allianz Group.

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The race to have a pie of the Nigerian’s insurance market is becoming more interesting.

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Last month, Prudential disclosed that it had acquired Zenith Life Insurance to give rise to Zenith Prudential Insurance.

In 2014, AXA, the world’s third-largest insurance provider acquired 77% stake in Mansard, a subsidiary of Guaranty Trust Bank. Last year, Swiss Re was also reported to have bought 25% stake in Leadway Assurance PLC.

Confirming the Swiss Re deal, Leadway’s Managing Director Mr Oye Hassan-Odukale said “Swiss Re was selected as an investor because of the existing and well-established relationship between the two organisations. This comes in addition to Swiss Re’s long-standing commitment to the insurance sector which combines financial strength, risk transfer expertise and its direct investments.”

He added that “The investment allows Swiss Re to deploy capital in-line with its strategy of accessing new risk pools in emerging markets and to support insurance development across the globe. The investment comes after the exit of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, which was the second largest shareholder of Leadway Assurance.

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“The relationship between Swiss Re and Leadway started nearly 40 years ago when the then domestic insurer was in the process of ramping up its direct and personal line insurance operations into commercial and industrial line insurance operations to compete in a market which was dominated by much older foreign linked insurers.’’ he said.

 

Earlier this year, Discovery of South Africa announced that it has acquired a stake in a Nigerian insurance company.
(PageOne)

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