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VUNANI ACQUIRES 67% MOMENTUM METROPOLITAN HOLDINGS

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MBABANE – Vunani Limited (Vunani) has, together with the current Metropolitan Life Swaziland management, acquired Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited’s (MMH) 67 per cent shareholding in its Eswatini insurance businesses.


In a press release issued yesterday, the shareholders were advised that the transaction has become effective and that the purchase consideration had been paid to Metropolitan International Holdings Proprietary Limited and all conditions precedent had been met.


It was disclosed that MetLife Swaziland had evolved into one of the leading insurance providers in the region with assets in excess of E675 million. 
The transaction sees Vunani, a financial services group; expand into life, short term and health insurance in partnership with the highly experienced local management team. It was pointed out that the transition plan would include a rebranding exercise for both MetLife Swaziland and MOMS. “MetLife Swaziland’s proven strong cash generation, and well-established recurring premium business, complement Vunani’s business model and will augment the group’s growth strategy,” said Ethan Dube, Vunani’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). 


It was stated that MMH has committed to working with the consortium to facilitate the smooth transition of operations and to ensure that the best interests of all key stakeholders in Eswatini, including clients, business partners, staff, and regulators are well taken care of during the transition period.
It was further clarified that the remaining 33 per cent of MetLife Swaziland would continue to be held by Eswatini Development and Savings Bank (EswatiniBank), which originally invested in 2010.


Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited (MMH) has a number of insurance operations across Africa.  MMH announced, in September 2017, a reset in priorities to enable improved performance and future growth.  This included an increased focus on successfully growing core business in South Africa; and exiting certain operations outside South Africa.  The company has therefore made a strategic decision to exit a number of African countries. 


Profitable


Eswatini, although highly profitable and strongly cash generative, fits into this category. MMH’s investment in Eswatini consists of a 67 per cent investment in Metropolitan Life Swaziland Limited (MetLife Swaziland) which in turn owns 100 per cent of Momentum Insurance Swaziland Limited (MOM).


It was explained that the management of MetLife Swaziland approached MMH to execute a management buy-out, (MBO) given their strong track record of growth and confidence in the prospects of the business with the appropriate future partner. The press statement also mentioned that Vunani was then approached by the management team to advise them on the MBO and assist in the raising of capital. 

The subsequent interactions and due diligence motivated the formation of a consortium of Management and Vunani for purposes of acquiring MMH’s stake in MetLife Swaziland.


MetLife Swaziland offers long-term life products and retirement funds. Momentum Insurance Swaziland Limited merged with MetLife Swaziland in 2010, offers short-term insurance cover - both personal and corporate - and health benefits. 

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