South Africa

AfroCentric gunning for Africa

AfroCentric, a diversified South African healthcare provider, expects that an acquisition by Sanlam will accelerate its expansion into a fast-growing yet still underinsured continent.

Sanlam, Africa’s biggest insurer, intends to buy as much as 74.5% of the company, giving the owner of medical administrator Medscheme access to a distribution network that stretches across 33 African countries, as well as India and Malaysia.

“That is something that we’d like to explore further with Sanlam, as well as further market penetration of health care to the continent,” AfroCentric’s Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Banderker said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

The deal involves swapping 28.7% stake in ACT Healthcare Assets — which holds AfroCentric’s businesses, including Pharmacy Direct and Activo Health — for an equal share in AfroCentric. Sanlam will then buy 44% of AfroCentric stock from the market.

AfroCentric already has a presence in Namibia and Botswana and will remain listed in South Africa.

According to Chief Executive Officer Paul Hanratty, its 3.8 million members and the services it offers “at affordable price points” make the company an attractive addition to Sanlam.