Insurers’ merger stopped

Mauritius Union Assurance (MUA) company might have to wait to gain entry to the Kenyan market.

This is after Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) declined to sanction the full acquisition of Saham Insurance Kenya, saying the Mauritian firm might have been guilty of regulatory impropriety.

In a public notice, IRA noted that while Saham - which is owned by South Africa’s Sanlam - informally communicated to it about the agreement to merge the two entities, it never formalised the communication.

The regulator now wants the insurer to withdraw the communication.

“This announcement may have been misleading to the public since there was no indication that it was subject to various regulatory approvals, as required under the Insurance Act.

IRA said it only learnt in a public statement on January 13 that MUA Insurance Kenya was to acquire all the shares of Saham Assurance Kenya from Sanlaam Kenya.

The regulator directed Sanlam Insurance Group to reorganise its businesses after the acquisition to ensure that it does not have multiple licences for the same business.

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As a result, Sanlam has decided to dispose of Saham Assurance Kenya instead of merging the businesses.

MUA already has branches in Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda.

The acquisition had been approved by the competition watchdog.

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Mauritius Union AssuranceIRASouth Africa