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Merger and Acquisition

Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Sells Minority Stake to AfricInvest

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Royal Exchange Plc

The Mangement of Royal Exchange General Insurance Company (“REGIC”) on Wednesday announced that AfricInvest, a Pan-African asset management company, has acquired a minority stake in the company.

REGIC disclosed in a statement released through the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

AfricInvest invested in REGIC through its evergreen private equity fund, FIVE, in the form of a subscription to a capital increase.

The statement reads, “The desire to participate in more large-ticket corporate transactions, diversify existing business and product lines as well as diversification of delivery channels were some of the key drivers behind this push for additional working capital by REGIC. The additional working capital will also enable the company to expand its underwriting capacity in key business areas such as the retail mass market, agricultural insurance and insurtech, which is the future of insurance.

This new investment, which has already been approved by NAICOM, will, in addition to supporting the enhancement of REGIC’s underwriting capacities, strengthen the company’s execution capabilities at top and middle management in order to ensure the successful implementation of an ambitious growth plan for the company within the next 5-7 years.

REGIC, which is one of Nigeria’s biggest private insurance companies, was established in 2008, following the restructuring of the then Royal Exchange Assurance Nigeria (REAN) which had been in operation for over a century in Nigeria.

FIVE has joined the shareholding of REGIC alongside the Royal Exchange Group and Blue Orchard’s InsuResilience Investment Fund (IIF), which had earlier invested in the Company in July 2019.

The investment by AfricInvest (FIVE Fund) will also result in the restructuring of the Board composition of REGIC, with the expected appointment of new Directors to the Board of REGIC, pending approval by the regulator, NAICOM. These new Directors are expected to bring their wealth of experience and expertise in their various fields into play and chart a new strategic direction for REGIC, as the company seeks to be among the Top 3 general insurance companies in Nigeria within the next 5 years.

Speaking on the new investment by AfricInvest, the Chairman of Royal Exchange Plc, Mr. Kenneth Ezenwani Odogwu, Chairman of Royal Exchange Group added, “Being the first insurance company in Nigeria and having been in business for over 100 years, I am excited and hopeful that we will be just as prominent for the next 100 years. The investment by AfricInvest and Blue Orchard is an important inflection point on this journey. Under the auspices of a new board led by a seasoned professional like Mr. Ike Chioke (awaiting NAICOM approval), I am confident that we will continue to provide relevant services and products to a new generation of insurance customers”.

Mehdi Gharbi, Senior Partner at AfricInvest and Co-head of FIVE, commented, “REGIC represents a perfect fit with the investment strategy of FIVE as it combines return and impact.

REGIC’s expansion plan will allow the Company to achieve sustainable and strong growth, facilitating access to insurance while creating value for stakeholders. I’m excited to join the REGIC’s board and to contribute alongside my colleagues the emergence of a new champion in the Nigerian insurance market.”

Ernesto Costa, Head of Private Equity Investments at BlueOrchard and representative of IIF in the board of REGIC added, “One of the key drivers behind our decision to invest in REGIC in 2019 was the history of the company, as well as the commitment of the key shareholders and management team to chart a new strategic direction for the company towards retail and improving the resilience of small-scale farmers, SMEs and households against the effects of climate change.

We are happy with the addition of AfricInvest, a like-minded and experienced investor, as a strategic shareholder and together, we will offer the necessary expertise, leadership and direction from the Board to ensure REGIC continues on its growth trajectory.

Sylma du Plessis, Partner at Alkebulan and advisor to the Royal Exchange Group commented, “This transaction is testament to REGIC’s strong management and opportunity set that it could successfully attract investors of the caliber of FIVE. We are proud to have played a part in securing funding for and giving financial advice to the Royal Exchange Group.”

For this transaction, Royal Exchange General Insurance Company had Messers Alkebulan and Co as its Financial Advisers while the Firm of Sefton Fross were the Legal Advisers. FIVE’s Legal Adviser was UDO UDOMA, BELLO OSAGIE (UUBO) and Co., while Royal Exchange Plc’s Legal Adviser was Punuka International Law Centre.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Merger and Acquisition

Moody’s Acquires 100% Stake in GCR Ratings

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Global Credit Rating Company Limited (GCR) is pleased to announce that Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO) has increased its stake in GCR to 100%, following a 51% acquisition in 2022.

GCR is a leading credit rating agency in Africa with a broad geographic footprint that includes South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, and Mauritius.

GCR’s 28-year proven track record and successful domestic operations across the African continent, together with Moody’s international expertise represents a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of capital markets and the wider economies across Africa. GCR expects this acquisition will further solidify its position as a leading provider of quality, objective and independent credit opinions in African markets.

Commenting on the acquisition, Marc Joffe, Chief Executive of GCR, said,

“The full acquisition of GCR by Moody’s is an important milestone that will enable us to build on our deep local market insights and over a quarter century of growth across the African continent. It will also provide the opportunity to further develop solutions that meet a range of customer needs, including credit ratings, credit risk solutions, and ESG (environmental, social and governance factors) capabilities”.

Following the acquisition, GCR will continue to use its own ratings methodologies, issue its own credit ratings and maintain a separate management team.

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Merger and Acquisition

Oando Secures 100% Stake in Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NUPRC Announces

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Oando PLC has completed the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC Ltd).

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) confirmed the completion of the deal on Wednesday.

NUPRC Chief Executive, Engineer Gbenga Komolafe, made the announcement at the ongoing Oil and Gas Energy Week in Abuja, a significant event sponsored by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and other industry stakeholders.

The acquisition marks a significant milestone for Oando, a leading indigenous energy solutions provider, solidifying its position in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

“This acquisition is a testament to Oando’s commitment to expanding its footprint in the upstream sector,” said Komolafe. “The divestment agreement with ENI, which includes the full acquisition of NAOC Ltd, has been successfully finalized, and we look forward to the signing ceremony in the coming days.”

The NAOC deal is part of a broader wave of acquisitions and divestments within Nigeria’s oil industry, reflecting a dynamic shift in the sector.

Alongside Oando’s acquisition, other major transactions include Equinor’s completed deal with Project Odinmin and the ongoing due diligence for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited’s (SPDC) transaction with the Renaissance Consortium.

Seplat Energy Offshore Limited is also advancing its proposed takeover of ExxonMobil Nigeria’s offshore shallow water operations, pending ministerial consent.

Oando’s acquisition of NAOC significantly boosts its operational capacity, increasing its participating interests in key Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) from 20% to 40%.

This strategic move not only enhances Oando’s production capabilities but also positions the company to leverage new opportunities in Nigeria’s oil-rich regions.

The NUPRC has emphasized the importance of adhering to regulatory frameworks to ensure smooth transitions and protect national interests.

Komolafe highlighted that while divestments are the right of investors, they must be conducted within the rule of law and best practices to avoid the pitfalls experienced by other countries.

“Countries like Brazil, Canada, and the UK have faced challenges with divestments that were not well-managed,” Komolafe noted. “We aim to avoid similar issues by ensuring that divestments in Nigeria are carried out with thorough due diligence, safeguarding financial capacity, technical capability, and environmental responsibilities.”

Oando’s acquisition aligns with Nigeria’s broader energy strategy, which includes diversifying its energy portfolio and attracting foreign investment.

The country is also focusing on becoming a hub for green hydrogen production, leveraging its abundant solar radiation to support Europe’s energy needs.

As Oando takes the helm of NAOC, the company is expected to drive initiatives that enhance oil production and contribute to sustainable energy solutions.

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Merger and Acquisition

Exxon Mobil’s Sale to Seplat Progresses After NNPC Drops Legal Challenge

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has withdrawn its legal challenge against Exxon Mobil Corp.’s sale of its oil and gas assets to Seplat Energy Plc.

This decision eliminates a major obstacle that had stalled the completion of the $1.3 billion deal.

The NNPC submitted an application to the high court in Abuja to discontinue the case, as confirmed by its legal firm, Afe Babalola, in an email on Thursday.

This move follows an agreement reached last month between NNPC and Exxon Mobil to finalize the transaction under undisclosed terms.

However, court documents reviewed by Bloomberg reveal that NNPC retains the right to resume its legal challenge if the settlement terms are not honored.

The sale, initially signed in February 2022, still requires approvals from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), which has set an August deadline, and from Nigerian President Bola Tinubu.

The NNPC’s withdrawal significantly advances the deal but does not mark its final hurdle.

The addition of Exxon Mobil’s blocks will significantly enhance Seplat’s portfolio, almost quadrupling its output to over 130,000 barrels per day.

This acquisition is set to bolster Seplat’s status as one of the leading suppliers of domestic gas to Nigerian power plants, fortifying its influence in the region.

In a parallel development, Shell Plc’s divestment of its Nigerian onshore oil business to a consortium of local firms, valued at over $1.3 billion, also awaits regulatory approval after being announced in January.

Both deals highlight the ongoing restructuring and consolidation within Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, aimed at increasing efficiency and local participation.

As Nigeria navigates these substantial industry shifts, the successful completion of the Exxon Mobil-Seplat deal will be a critical indicator of the nation’s ability to manage large-scale energy transactions.

It will also set a precedent for future agreements and regulatory processes in the country’s vital oil and gas sector.

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