A German global insurance company has acquired majority shares in East Africa’s leading insurance company, in a merger that will see over €1billion invested in the regional insurance sector.
The merger between Allianz and Jubilee General Insurance Limited (JHL) in Kenya – which is to become Jubilee Allianz General Insurance Limited, was announced this Tuesday during a virtual meeting in which the former assumed 66% stake in the acquisition representing 1,522,622 ordinary shares.
Allianz, with its headquarters in Germany, serves more than 100 million retail and corporate customers in more than 70 countries worldwide and has over a century of history in Africa, built a meaningful footprint.
It is currently present in 12 countries in Africa and serves customers in 49 African markets.
Globally, Allianz achieved total revenues of €142 billion and an operating profit of €11.9 billion in 2019.
JHL is a multinational financial services holding company and the largest insurer in East Africa and the general insurance market leader in the Ugandan and Tanzanian markets, as well as regionally across East Africa, with gross written premiums of €299 million, and a pre-tax profit of EUR 39 million in the financial year ended on December 31, 2019.
The acquisition follows the execution of an agreement signed on September 29, 2020, whereby Allianz agreed to acquire the majority shareholding in the short-term general (property and casualty) insurance business operations of JHL in five African countries namely, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Mauritius.
The two companies of Allianz in Kenya, Allianz Insurance Company of Kenya Limited and Jubilee Allianz Insurance Limited will continue to operate separately until their operations are consolidated into Jubilee Allianz General Insurance Limited, which is subject to regulatory approval.
Officials said the new company will invest €100m over the next year and in the long run inject €5billion to improve the performance of the insurance sector market penetration which is relatively low- for example in Kenya it is at less than 10%, Uganda at less than 1%.
Officiating at the event, the German Ambassador to Kenya, Annett Gȗnther said that one of the best and largest German investments in region and Africa and with over 200 years of experience this merger will bring a new insurance experience to the region.
“The new step increases the footprint of Allianz in Kenya and to the next level. Eventually in five countries this will merge to 1million Euros – for me as Ambassador. This is good for business in region and for Europe,” Gȗnther said.
The envoy also said that the merger benefits should be extended to other countries in the region.
Coenraad Vrolijk, Allianz Africa Regional CEO said the long term plan is to expand to other regional countries and across the continent depending on insurance policies and flexibility of local partners.
“With the recent acquisitions in leading African markets of Nigeria and Morocco, this transaction is a reflection of Allianz’s long-term commitment to Africa and fits with our ambition to gain leadership positions in key markets in the continent,” stated Vrolijk.
Nizar Juma, Chairman of JHL stated the possibility to expand in other neighboring countries like Ethiopia.
“We want to be a digital company selling insurance and not a insurance company using digital, so we bring in all artificial intelligence (AI) and new robotics products so as to increase regional penetration,” Juma said.