Sanlam increases stake in BIHL

Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) has announced that Sanlam Emerging Markets (Pty) Limited (“SEM”) has acquired an additional 5.07 percent shares in BIHL as of 12 March 2014, bringing up its total shareholding to 58.29 percent of the total issued shares of BIHL.

This, according to a statement from BIHL, is in adherence to listing requirements which require a company to inform shareholders of any change in the nature and extent of the shareholding of a substantial shareholder above the 5% threshold.

The shareholding is split into; African Life Assurance Company (17.29%) and SEM (41%) which are both wholly owned subsidiaries of Sanlam.
“Both African Life Assurance Company and SEM are wholly owned subsidiaries of Sanlam, which is accordingly the ultimate beneficial shareholder. Botswana is a key market for Sanlam and SEM’s increased shareholding in BIHL is in line with its stated strategy of deepening its relationship with BIHL and it will continue to work with BIHL in growing the business and delivering value to clients and broader stakeholders in Botswana,” reads the statement.

Sanlam which announced its financial results last month (March) for the year end 31 December 2013, indicated that it had unallocated discretionary capital of R4 billion and the company’s preference remains to invest discretionary capital in value-adding growth opportunities, with specific focus on identified growth markets.

“A large portion of the discretionary capital would be utilised on transactions likely to be finalised in the near term. A number of potential further opportunities are under consideration and most of the remaining available discretionary capital would be utilised for these opportunities within a reasonable time frame,” revealed Sanlam executives early March.

Commenting on the results, Sanlam Group Chief Executive, Dr Johan van Zyl said he was pleased with its performance in 2013 and believed that key to its success is the sustained and strong focus on the strategy, client centricity across all its businesses and its commitment to growing value for the shareholders.

The Group also continued to grow its footprint and pursued value-accretive opportunities with the aim of further diversifying its revenue streams.
Before the 5 percent increase stake in BIHL announcement, Sanlam had already finalised other five acquisitions, including, among others, a 49% stake in Malaysian general insurer, Pacific & Orient Insurance Co. Berhad; a stake in NICO General Insurance Company’s businesses in Malawi, Zambia and Uganda; and an additional direct stake in Shriram Transport Finance Company.