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IFC Investment in Assupol Holdings to Help Expand Access to Insurance in South Africa


Desmond Dodd
Phone: +27 11 731 3053
E-mail: ddodd@ifc.org

Johannesburg, South Africa, June , 2012 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, agreed today to make an equity investment of up to ZAR 170 million (approximately $20 million) in Assupol Holdings Limited, the holding company of Assupol Life Limited. Assupol Life Limited, formerly a mutual society, converted into a public company and demutualised during December 2010. The investment will position Assupol to gain more recognition among investors as Assupol develops a business strategy to serve more low-income customers in South Africa.

Founded in 1913, Assupol Life Limited is a well established provider of insurance products and has been expanding its offerings to all South Africans since the 1980s. Assupol’s products include life, disability and accident cover; funeral cover; retirement products; and savings and investment products. Its client base is highly concentrated among previously disadvantaged groups, especially low-income South Africans.

Rudolf Schmidt, Assupol CEO said, “Assupol has developed an innovative business model in South Africa to serve a wide range of customers, especially those at the base of the income pyramid. This substantial equity investment by IFC will contribute towards the restructuring of our capital and shareholder base and enable us to gain increased recognition and traction among investors as we continue to develop our business strategy to service the lower end of the income spectrum in South Africa”  

IFC’s participation as a shareholder is an important milestone for Assupol, coming 18 months after its demutualisation, a process that may culminate in an eventual listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa said, “IFC strongly supports Assupol's mission to serve previously disadvantaged customers. Assupol has developed a strong business and has built a solid reputation in the insurance marketplace that will help it expand further in South Africa and into other countries in the future.”  

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 property, life and health insurance as well as access to savings products. IFC’s effort also involves creating partnerships with leading insurance companies that have developed a solid know-how that can be taken to other emerging markets by way of regional or global expansion.

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 Assupol, visit www.assupol.co.za