Stephen Cranston Associate editor

It will be tough for any corporate to replicate Sanlam’s footprint across Africa after it paid a full earnings multiple of 26 to take full control of Saham Finances. Sanlam needed to raise a mixture of R5.7bn in equity as well as debt to finance the US$1bn deal. After years of avoiding transformative deals — not least because of the disastrous effects they had on Old Mutual — Sanlam has finally taken the plunge. It had to make a decision quickly because Saham founder Moulay Hafid Elalamy needed to sell — his term as Morocco’s minister of industry, investment, trade & digital economy had been renewed for five years, so the conflict of interest had to be managed. Saham and Sanlam overlap only in four countries in Africa: Kenya, Nigeria, Botswana and Rwanda. Junior Ngulube, CEO of Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM), says the intention has never been to centralise the two businesses and cut costs. "We have partners invested in each national operation and need to work in consultation with the...

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