German insurance major Allianz and Sanlam have reached an agreement to merge their current and future operations in Africa. 

The merger will create a pan-African insurance entity with operations in 29 countries across the continent. 

The combined operations of Allianz and Sanlam are expected to have around €2bn in total group equity value.

The tie-up is aimed at increasing penetration of life and general insurance in high-growth African markets while developing new products and promoting financial inclusion. 

Sanlam Group CEO Paul Hanratty said: “In line with Sanlam’s stated ambition to be a leading pan-African financial services group, the proposed joint venture will enable us to take a significant step towards realising that ambition.

“It will also strengthen our leadership position in multiple key markets that are core to our Africa strategy, building quality and scale where it matters.”

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Allianz SE management board member Christopher Townsend said: “In accordance with our enterprise strategy to expand our leadership position through scale and new partnership models, Allianz is pleased to accelerate its growth in this important region through a partnership with the undisputed market leader. 

“Sanlam’s capabilities extend our local reach and market penetration, and the joint venture allows us to establish leading positions in key growth markets for Allianz.”

The JV will have business units of both Sanlam and Allianz in African markets where they are present. 

However, the agreement does not include South Africa and Namibia will be included later. 

CEOs of Sanlam and Allianz will take over the combined entity on a two-year rotational basis. 

The merger, which was initially announced in December 2021, is subject to certain conditions including regulatory approval.