Germany’s Allianz said Wednesday it is buying control of Nigerian insurer, Ensure Insurance Plc, in a push for growth in the relatively uninsured African market.
Allianz said in a statement that it would acquire a 98 percent stake in Ensure Insurance from UK-based holding company Greenoaks Global Holdings. However, there was no disclosure on the acquisition value.
“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,” Coenraad Vrolijk, Allianz’s regional CEO Africa was reported to have said.
Allianz Group has operations in 17 African countries and expects the acquisition to close later this year.
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Ensure Insurance, on the other hand, offers life and non-life insurance to businesses and retail clients in Nigeria. In 2016 it generated about $13 million (11 million euros) in gross premiums written.
The insurer, Ensure, was formerly known as Union Assurance but changed its name following a 92.8 percent stake acquisition by Greenoaks Global Holdings of the United Kingdom in 2014.
Most recently foreign insurers are banking on growing premiums as the continent develops its infrastructure and a consumer class demands protection from risk.
Specifically, Allianz follows British insurer Prudential which last month bought a majority stake in Nigeria’s Zenith Life to gain access to the African country’s fast-growing insurance market.
South African insurer Liberty Holdings, which bought remaining shares it didn’t already own in Nigeria’s Total Health Trust in August 2015, said in February it would acquire a 75 percent stake in an unidentified Nigerian long-term insurer for 160 million rand ($12 million).
France’s AXA acquired Nigeria’s fourth-largest insurer Mansard Insurance three years ago.