Liberty Holdings eyes First Mutual

South African financial services group Liberty Holdings Limited is eyeing growth in the Zimbabwean market amid indications this week that the company is interested in acquiring a controlling equity stake in First Mutual Holdings Limited, businessdigest has established.

By Chris Muronzi

South Africa’s Liberty Holdings Limited is interested in acquiring First Mutual Holdings Limited
South Africa’s Liberty Holdings Limited is interested in acquiring First Mutual Holdings Limited

Sources told businessdigest this week that Liberty officials have been in the country with a view of snapping up a lucrative insurance business.

First Mutual has been identified as a possible buy, according to the sources.

The sources close to the deal said they have been meetings between Liberty and First Mutual executives. First Mutual is the second largest insurance business in the country.

As at Wednesday, Liberty’s market capitalisation was R35 billion(US$2,3 billion).

Liberty is an established and growing South African financial services group which offers a comprehensive range of long-term insurance products and services to the financial, investment and lifestyle risk needs of both the retail and corporate markets.

The company is one of the biggest listed long-term insurers on the JSE by market capitalisation and ranks as one of the 50 largest companies in South Africa, with products distributed across multiple channels varying across the African continent. The company is also interested in asset management.

Stanlib Asset Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty, is currently a significant player in the mutual fund market in South Africa and Kenya, offering clients a range of distinct investment solutions from varied franchises via portfolios and specialist asset classes in South Africa and Africa.

With a footprint in 16 countries across the African continent, Liberty sees growth opportunities in the Zimbabwe market.

Liberty is currently invested in the country through Eagle Insurance and has launched its Liberty Blue, a suite of health insurance products offering a comprehensive set of health insurance benefits to the staff of employer groups in Africa. The products cater for a variety of healthcare needs across a number of income categories.

Efforts to reach First Mutual CE Douglas Hoto proved fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered at the time of going to print.

The group is the largest provider of insurance solutions in the retail affluent market in South Africa.It is also the largest in the retail unit trust market including money market and the 4th largest provider of insurance solutions in South Africa employee benefits market.