U.K.’s biggest insurer by market value, Prudential Plc has agreed to buy Kenyan life insurer Shield Assurance Co. and it has set its sights on Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy with a population of 170 million.
The purchase of Shield Assurance is Prudential’s second acquisition in Africa and Prudential will be investing 1.5 billion Kenyan shillings ($16.9 million) in Shield Assurance over the next 12 months.
It is hoped the investment will create 4,000 jobs by 2020, the London-based company said in a statement today. The company said it also intends to open an East Africa unit in Nairobi.
Prudential Chief Executive Officer TidjaneThiam is looking to replicate the company’s development in Asia by expanding in Africa to help accelerate the insurer’s next stage of growth.
The Ivory Coast-born French national bought Express Life Insurance Co. in Ghana for an undisclosed sum in December and has also cited Nigeria as a potential market.
“Today’s announcement is an important milestone,” Prudential Africa CEO Matt Lilley said in the statement. Kenya’s “life insurance market is growing at 20 percent every year,” he said.