Momentum, Alexander Forbes N$50m merger approved

By Hilary Mare

THE Namibian Competition Commission has approved the acquisition of all the issued shares of Alexander Forbes Insurance Namibia by Momentum Metropolitan Namibia, through their subsidiary Momentum Short Term Insurance Namibia (MSTIN), without conditions.

The deal is worth at least N$50 million.

In a government gazette No. 7311 released last week, the Commission highlighted that the decision is based on grounds that the proposed merger is not likely to prevent or lessen competition in Namibia, as envisaged by section 47(2) of the Competition Act, 2003.

“Note that the Commission has the authority in terms of section 48(1) of the Act to revoke a decision approving the implementation of a proposed merger if the decision was based on materially incorrect or misleading information for which a party to the merger is responsible or any condition attached to the approval of the merger that is material to the implementation is not complied with,” the Commission’s Board chairperson, Peter Danial Carlson said.

The deal follows the acquisition of Alexander Forbes  short term insurance business in South Africa by Momentum Short Term Insurance Namibia’s parent company.

At the time the deal was agreed in April pending approval, Dawie de Villiers, Chief Executive Officer of Alexander Forbes, said: “We are pleased with the proposed transaction which brings to a close the sale of all our short-term insurances businesses. In selecting Momentum Short Term Insurance (Namibia) Limited, we are ensuring our clients will continue to experience the superior benefits and service excellence they have at Alexander Forbes. Momentum is a company that understands the value proposition we have provided to our clients and our employees and they will continue to invest in enhancing it.”

According to Johan Barnard, CEO of Momentum Short Term Insurance Namibia, Alexander Forbes Insurance Namibia was started 10 years ago by Johan Verwey, the capable Managing Director and co-founder of Alexander Forbes Insurance Namibia and he brings a wealth of local knowledge and entrepreneurial skills, which will fit in perfectly with our client-centric approach.

“This transaction is an excellent strategic fit for Momentum Short Term Insurance.  We are on a path of strong growth and expansion.  As the two entities integrate, our focus will be on continuing to deliver the same level of excellent service and competitive solutions that clients have come to rely on.  We have a shared understanding of the value proposition presented and we look forward to showing enhanced capability and seamless efficiency.  We are confident with what we have to offer and look forward to offering a warm Momentum welcome to our new clients and employees. As a business we will remain committed to continuously improving and evolving,” Barnard said.

Momentum Short Term Insurance Namibia’s current focus is predominately on commercial insurance and selective personal lines, however, the acquisition will enable a broader future offering due to a very strong presence in personal lines and other niche insurance markets.

Commenting on the transaction, Group CEO of Momentum Metropolitan Namibia, Grant Marais, states that: “We are pleased to enter this agreement with Alexander Forbes. We share the same values and culture and have been very impressed with the existing team in their understanding of the local market and the innovative solutions they are offering.

“Acquiring another established short-term insurer just more than two years after establishing Momentum Short-term Insurance Namibia shows our confidence in the business and will fast track Momentum Short-term Insurance Namibia’s growth aspirations. It also gives us access to a unique set of insurance skills and many years’ experience we can benefit from as a group in Namibia. We have already identified significant synergies and will maximise opportunities, which we believe will result in increased revenue to the benefit of stakeholders and the economy at large.”