Old Mutual sells insurance business to Emple Group

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Old Mutual Nigeria has sold its life and general insurance businesses to the Emple Group for an undisclosed amount, pending regulatory approval.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the firm said that the sale decision followed a thorough strategic review of the businesses, which weighed up the immediate to long-term prospects for both the in-country asset and the broader Old Mutual Group.

The Chief Executive Officer of Old Mutual West Africa Group, Samuel Ogbu, while commenting on the deal, said, “Since establishing a presence in Nigeria in 2013, it has been our ambition to scale and grow the business in a way that would position Old Mutual as a leading financial services provider in the market. Along the way, Old Mutual made strategic investments to ensure that the Nigerian businesses remained on the right footing and were able to successfully compete.

 “However, Old Mutual has taken the decision to sell the Nigerian general insurance and life businesses, with the key consideration for this transaction being the optimisation of capital management.”

According to Ogbu, as part of the agreement, the new investors are to present a clear transition plan, which includes immediate and medium-term plans for growth, together with the existing team.

He added that this meant that the transition would proceed with the existing team in place.

“Old Mutual does not foresee any impacts to the policies and relationships with its customers and stakeholders in Nigeria and will be working with the Emple Group to ensure a smooth transition.

 “We are in the process of communicating with our customers and key stakeholders, and the reassurance we are giving is that they can expect continued excellent service,” Ogbu affirmed.

Old Mutual has also confirmed that it would not be leaving Nigeria completely but would maintain a presence in the country through its investment arm, Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers.

 “We see great potential in the infrastructure investment space. AIIM has had great success in the country to date, pursuing opportunities in the sub-region and beyond, through the team in Lagos. Old Mutual currently has significant investment interests in renewable energy, midstream gas, and the digital infrastructure sector in Nigeria through our various AIIM funds. Our view is long-term, and we continue to explore opportunities for growth,” added Ogbu.

Old Mutual’s boss reiterated the group’s commitment to growing on the African continent remained firm.

“We returned our operations to the African continent in 2018 because of the opportunity for growth that we saw then, and which we still see today. However, this growth needs to be sustainable, in the best interests of our stakeholders and pursued responsibly. We continually assess our efforts in every market to ensure we create value for all stakeholders.

 “We would like to thank the National Insurance Commission and the people of Nigeria for embracing the Old Mutual brand so warmly over the years. We are incredibly proud of the business we have been able to build in the country with the commitment of our local teams, and we remain confident that this legacy will continue to grow under the custodianship of the Emple Group,”

Ogbu concluded.

 The new investor, Emple Group, is an investment company managed by Nigerian investors.

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