x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Abraaj Capital invests $125 million in African insurance firm

Abraaj Capital, the biggest private equity firm in the Middle East, has invested US$125 million (Dh459m) in an insurance firm spanning Morocco and Francophone West Africa.

Abraaj Capital, the biggest private equity firm in the Middle East, has invested US$125 million (Dh459m) in an insurance firm spanning Morocco and Francophone West Africa.

The investment in Saham Finances will support the firm’s growth and development plans in the wider African continent, where insurance penetration rates are very low.

“Our investment in Saham Finances is in line with our focus on supporting strong companies active in high-impact sectors in rapidly growing economies,” said Matteo Stefanel, a senior partner of Abraaj Capital. “As a leader in the insurance sector in Morocco and Francophone West Africa, we see tremendous growth opportunities for Saham Finances.”

The deal is the second Abraaj has secured in recent weeks as signs of a more positive global economy help support investment sentiment in the region.  Last month it acquired Aureos Capital, a London-based specialist in finance for small to medium enterprises.

With the latest deal, Abraaj is seeking to tap into an anticipated pick up in demand for insurance on the continent.
Saham Finances, based in Morocco, has majority stakes in three subsidiaries - CNIA Saada, Colina and Isaaf - offering a range of life and non-life insurance options.

“The African insurance sector represents an extremely attractive investment opportunity,” said Moulay Hafid Elalamy, the founder and chairman of Saham Finances.

tarnold@thenational.ae