AfricInvest acquires minority stake in insurance company REGIC

NIGERIA – AfricInvest, a Pan-African asset management company, has acquired a minority stake in Royal Exchange General Insurance Company (REGIC).

According to AfricInvest, the investment was made through its evergreen private equity fund, FIVE, in the form of a subscription to a capital increase.

“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,” AfricInvest said in a statement.

“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.”

The new investment, which had already been approved by NAICOM, would, 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 five to seven years.

“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 Chairman, Royal Exchange Plc, Mr Kenneth Odogwu, stated.

“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.”

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

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

“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.”

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) would 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, National Insurance Commission.

The new directors were 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 sought to be among the top three general insurance companies in Nigeria within the next five years.

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