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Thursday, February 1, 2007
Getting access

Unlisted subsidiary of the Sanlam group, Channel Life, has acquired the entire share capital of South Africa’s oldest black life assurer, Safrican, from Thebe Investment Holdings, for an undisclosed amount. In return, Thebe will acquire a stake in Channel Life Holdings.

Comments Chief executive of Channel Life, René Otto, “We have been working with the Safrican management team for the past nine months and the relationship has quickly developed into a mutually beneficial arrangement. We are now well on our way to further ‘Africanise’ the life industry.”
Chief executive of Safrican, Nthabiseng Mmatli explains, “Having Channel Life as a shareholder will allow us to realise our potential and expand the operation into areas to which did not previously have access. We will now be in a position to establish a strong presence in Limpopo and Eastern Cape, as well as fulfil further criteria of the Financial Services Charter, specifically referring to ‘accessibility’.
“But more importantly, our customers will greatly benefit from the extensive intellectual capital and administrative expertise offered by Channel Life.”
For its part Safrican has managed to grow embedded value substantially. Its client base includes 1,5 million policyholders which covers seven million lives.
“As the oldest black life assurer in South Africa we have, over the years, been able to identify customer needs and provide them with the necessary products and services,” she says. “The Safrican brand continues to live by the traditional values of support and assistance that has withstood the test of time.”
In terms of the BEE credentials Mmatli adds that while Thebe has sold its stake to Channel Life, the business is still fully representative of the country’s demographic profile.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:20.1 1st February, 2007
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