The Mauritian insurance company MUA Ltd (MUA) on 7th July announced completion of the acquisition of Saham Assurance Company Kenya Limited (Saham Kenya) , through its subsidiary MUA Insurance (Kenya) Limited (“MUA 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 (IRA, Kenya), the COMESA 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. Saham Kenya’s integration into MUA is seen as complementary.
The integration of the two teams is expected by the end of the year and is subject to IRA approval. This would enable MUA to strengthen its market position and trigger significant value creation.
The Chief Executive Officer of Saham Kenya, Lydia Kibaara, will take over the management of the merged entity. Previously an executive at the largest insurance company in Kenya, she brings with her extensive market knowledge. 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 its parent company in Mauritius, in order to achieve critical mass in Kenya and ensure long term sustainability. MUA, one of the leading insurance players in Mauritius, has demonstrated its ability to innovate, digitalize, and brings in its extensive international network and technical expertise, which are all key success factors to drive the business forward.
MUA’s development strategy in Kenya and in the region is based on 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 new entity will offer solutions for more specialized insurance risks, including cyber-risks and aviation risks.
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 says it 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 offer solutions for more specialized 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.
“With this acquisition, we confirm our growth path and long-term ambitions in Kenya,” Bertrand Casteres, Group CEO of MUA, said. “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.”
The East Africa operations account for about a quarter of MUA’s revenue and seeks to significantly increase this contribution over the next three years to join the top 10 insurance companies in Kenya. “Saham Kenya’s team will be integrated in accordance with the group’s values and will find their place within the MUA family,” Casteres said.
About MUA Ltd
MUA Ltd is the holding company of the MUA group of companies, listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius. MUA is the largest insurance company listed on the Mauritian Stock Exchange in terms of market capitalization and is amongst the top 10 list best top-performing companies (since its listing in 1993).