Sanlam’s $137-mn Morocco deal, Edita’s plan to buy Ole come unstuck

 Sanlam’s $137-mn Morocco deal, Edita’s plan to buy Ole come unstuck

South African financial services major Sanlam Ltd said Monday a proposed deal to increase its indirect stake in Casablanca Stock Exchange-listed SAHAM Assurance Maroc to 84.5% for MAD1.24 billion (ZAR1.9 billion or $137 million) has been scrapped.

Sanlam had said last May a unit would acquire 22.8% of the issued shares of SAHAM Assurance from Said Alj and two related entities, Sanam Holdings SA and First Commercial Estate Company SARL. It was to fund the transaction via debt.

As part of the transaction, Said Alj intended to reinvest half of the money from the deal to acquire shares in Sanlam on the open market at the prevailing share price. These shares were to be acquired over the next few months and were to be held for a minimum two-year period.

The proposed deal was at a 10% premium to the last traded price of SAHAM Assurance on the stock exchange.

“Shareholders are hereby advised that the conditions precedent to the transaction were not fulfilled and the transaction has, accordingly, lapsed,” Sanlam said.

SAHAM Assurance is a large property and casualty insurer in Morocco with Sanlam holding a 61.7% stake. The insurer has been listed on the local bourse since 2010.

Sanlam had previously said the deal would enable it to deepen its direct presence in North and Francophone West Africa as part of a strategy to optimise the pan-Africa portfolio and strengthen its position in core markets.

Sanlam owns a majority stake in the business via holding company SAN JV (RF) Proprietary Ltd, which is co-owned by South African general insurer Santam.

For the year ended December 31, 2020, the net asset value of SAHAM Assurance was MAD4.7 billion. Its net profit after tax and minority interests for the period was MAD198 million.

Edita-Ole

Edita Food Industries S.A.E. said Monday it has ended talks to buy the manufacturer of Ole-branded bakery items like croissant, cakes and doughnuts.

It did not give detailed reasoning but said the parties failed to reach a ‘satisfactory agreement’.

This comes two months after Edita signed a non-binding Letter of Intent with Egyptian Belgian Company for Industrial Investments S.A.E, which makes the Ole bakery products.

EGX-listed Edita, which was previously backed by private equity firm Actis, had expected to complete the due diligence exercise by December 15 and prepare an initial draft of the sale and purchase agreement by January 15.

Vivek Sinha

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