Private Equity Group, Verod, Acquires AXA Mansard Pensions

The board of AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, on Monday, announced the divestment from its subsidiary, AXA Mansard Pensions Limited, based on the approval of its shareholders obtained at its Extra-Ordinary General Meeting held on February 13, 2020.

In a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by Mrs. Omowunmi Mabel Adewusi, its Company Secretary, AXA Mansard said Eustacia Limited (a member of the Verod, a private equity group) as the preferred bidder at the completion of the divestment process by Messer Rand Merchant Bank and Aluko & Oyebode, the Financial Advisers and Legal Advisers on the transaction respectively.

The company along with the minority shareholder, the statement added, “entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Eustacia Limited to divest the entire issued ordinary share capital of AXA Mansard Pensions comprising of 60% shareholding (2,067,672,000 shares) held by AXA Mansard Insurance plc and 40% shareholding (1,378,448,000 shares) held by the minority Shareholder.”

The divestment, the statement added, has received letters of No Objection from the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), National Pension Commission (PENCOM), and the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

The completion of the process is however “subject to the receipt of the final approval of the National Pension Commission.”

The statement quoted Kunle Ahmed, Chief Executive of AXA Mansard Insurance Plc as saying the “transaction marks a new step in AXA´s broader strategy to focus on and grow our Life, Property & Casualty (P&C) and Health businesses across all its geographies.

“The AXA Group sees great potential in the Nigerian insurance market and believes AXA Mansard is ideally placed to capture these opportunities, thanks to its market leadership positions in Health Insurance, Property & Casualty and Life Insurance. We plan to capitalize on our successes to further build our capabilities and continue to deliver the best offers & services to our customers,” he added.

Also commenting on the transaction, Dapo Akisanya, CEO of AXA Mansard Pensions Limited expressed confidence “about Verod’s strong commitment to providing the Company with the requisite support to actualize our promise to our clients and stakeholders.

“As a West African investor with deep local knowledge and presence, we look forward to harnessing Verod’s unique, and world-class, attributes towards setting new standards in the industry.”

Verod, he continued further, “has the capacity, expertise, and network, to support the business to continue to expand and to provide innovative solutions for the benefit of our current and future clients.

For Eric Idiahi, Partner at Verod, the group strongly believes “that this is the ideal time to enter the market and that AXA Mansard Pensions provides an excellent beachhead from which to establish a consolidated position and gain market share.

“The National Pension Commission continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to raising standards within the industry and driving pension penetration rates in the short to medium term. We believe that sustaining AXA Mansard Pension’s industry-leading investment returns, excellent customer service, as well as, expanding distribution network and product offerings will facilitate the capture of the considerable growth potential within the Nigerian pensions industry, particularly following the opening of the transfer window,” he noted further.