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IFC Makes Largest-Ever Insurance Investment, Providing $100 Million to Barbados-Based Sagicor


In Washington:
Julie Ziegler

Phone: (202) 473-0128

E-mail:
JZiegler1@ifc.org

Adriana Gomez

Phone: (202) 458-5204

E-mail:
agomez@ifc.org


Washington, March 31, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, agreed today to invest up to $100 million in Barbados-based Sagicor  Financial Corporation to bolster market confidence in the insurance industry and to expand insurance services in the Caribbean.

The transaction is IFC’s largest-ever in the insurance sector and will consist of up an investment of up to $20 million in common shares, or about a 4 percent stake in Sagicor, and up to $80 million  in convertible and redeemable preference shares.


The investment demonstrates confidence in the long-term future of the Caribbean insurance industry following several market failures and a tightening of credit arising from the 2008 global economic crisis. The transaction will also allow consumers, especially the poor, to plan and invest in the future by helping to expand Sagicor’s presence in the Caribbean and eventually in Latin America.


"Insurance gives people the security they need to grow businesses and invest in the well-being of their families," said IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell. "This partnership between IFC and Sagicor will promote greater access to more types of insurance products in the region.”


“We view this investment, and indeed the level of investment by IFC, as a message of confidence in Sagicor,’’ said Sagicor Chairman Stephen McNamara. “The benefits of this partnership and investment to the wider communities will become evident as Sagicor deploys the funds raised for growth within the region.”


The transaction is part of IFC’s strategy to expand its investment activities in the insurance sector, with the goal of increasing availability of insurance products that address individual needs, such as health insurance, and access to insurance products for smaller businesses, microfinance institutions, and agribusinesses. The effort involves partnering with global and regional insurance companies that are focused on expanding in emerging markets.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

For more information on Sagicor, visit:
www.sagicor.com.