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South African insurer Sanlam seals $1 billion deal for Morocco's SAHAM

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10/11/2018 | 08:25am EST

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's biggest insurer Sanlam has sealed a $1.1 billion deal to acquire the remaining 53.37 percent stake in Moroccan insurance firm SAHAM Finances after receiving regulatory approvals, it said on Thursday.

SAHAM Finances is Sanlam's biggest acquisition yet, and expands its presence to 33 countries across Africa. The conclusion of the deal cements its presence in north Africa.

Sanlam Emerging Markets Ireland Ltd (SEMIL), a unit of Sanlam in a joint-venture with South African insurer Santam Ltd, had acquired a 30 percent stake in SAHAM Finances in 2016. The joint-venture unit increased its stake to 46.6 percent the following year.

Since its establishment in Morocco in 1995 as a subsidiary of SAHAM Group, which also owns health, food and distribution interests, SAHAM Finances has expanded rapidly.

It had consolidated net assets worth $850 million and earnings of $77.4 million for the year by the end of last year.

(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by James Macharia)

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