By Favour Nnabugwu
SOUTH Africa’s Liberty Holdings on Friday, announced that it will acquire a 75 percent stake in a Nigerian insurer, UNIC Insurance Plc, for 160 million rand ($12 million), an equivalent of N3.72billion.
This is in line with the company’s pursuit of its strategy to expand into East and West Africa regions.
Part of Liberty’s strategy is to grow its presence in West Africa through long-term insurance business and entering the asset management business.
“We see Nigeria as a market of the future,” Liberty Chief Executive Thabo Dloti said.
“It may be having difficulties now, but everything indicates to us that in the long term Nigeria is going to be a big contributor of growth if you are doing business in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Liberty’s chief financial officer, Casper Troskie had said, “We have been negotiating with some parties in Nigeria to acquire some stakes in their businesses and we’ve made quite good progress in that regard.
“Liberty Holdings plans to invest up to $80 million on two deals in Nigeria by year-end, as part of a five-year strategy by South Africa’s No.4 insurer to expand further into sub-Saharan Africa, its chief financial officer has said.
“Liberty, South Africa’s fourth biggest insurance firm by market value, already has presence in Nigeria through Total Health Trust, after buying the remaining shares it didn’t already own for 142 million rand in August 2015. ($1 = 12.8950 rand)
“The company, which is targeting mostly corporate clients in East and West Africa, plans to spend between 5 billion rand ($393 million) and 6 billion bulking up in those markets in the longer term,” Troskie said.