South Africa’s largest privately owned insurance group, Hollard Insurance, has entered into a deal valued at about R2.3 billion (around P1.8 billion) with Imperial Holdings to acquire the Regent Group, comprising of Regent Life and Regent Insurance. Botswana is one of the countries in which the Regent Group has established long and short term licenses, including South Africa and Lesotho. Regent Insurance Botswana and Regent Life Botswana started operations in 1997 and are both fully owned by Imperial Holdings. Imperial Holdings is a multinational mobility group which focuses on logistics, automotive distribution and retail, financial services, car rental and tourism.
Regent insurance Botswana is a registered short term insurer that offers insurance products and solutions in motor, non-motor and commercial business lines. Regent Life insurance offers varied solutions that maintain and protect the wealth of individuals and groups and is also the first insurer to include HIV and AIDS as a dread disease. Disclosing the reason behind Hollard’s acquisition of the Regent Group Imperial Holdings Chief Executive Officer Mark Lamberti said that the sale of Regent underlines Imperial’s intent to focus on its two major lines of mobility, namely logistics and vehicles.
“Financial services related to our substantial vehicle distribution capability and retail footprint will remain an important part of Imperial and we are confident that the relationship with Hollard will facilitate the growth of this business. We are equally confident that the potential of those parts of Regent unrelated to vehicles will best be realised under Hollard’s ownership,” he added.
Imperial Holdings further said the sale’s detailed legal agreements are expected to be completed in due course and will be subject to regulatory approvals. The deal was described by Hollard’s Chief Executive Officer Nic Kohler as a strategic fit. However, in terms of financial strength, Hollard stretches very widely from the Regent Group. For the year ended 30 June 2015 the Regent Group reported a gross premium income of R2.9 billion (P2.2 billion) whereas Hollard in 2014 registered premium income of R15.3 billion (P11.8 billion). Hollard has operations in 10 countries and accounts for a total of six million policy holders.