Linklaters advises Amethis Africa Finance and National Bank of Canada on their equity stake purchase in NSIA Participations

Linklaters has advised the consortium made up of Amethis Africa Finance and the National Bank of Canada on their equity stake purchase in NSIA Participations, the financial services group comprising banking and insurance products, that operates in more than ten West African countries. The transaction will be made through the acquisition of the 26% stake currently owned by Emerging Capital Partners and is subject to regulatory approvals.

The Linklaters team was led from Paris by corporate partner Marc Petitier, supported by counsel Sébastien Pontillo and associate Mehdi Boumedine.

Commenting on the deal, Marc Petitier emphasised its importance, especially in the Sub-Saharan financial landscape, saying: “This major transaction has proved to be one of the most significant ones ever made in the Francophone African banking and insurance sector. Going forward, we expect to see further M&A activity in the insurance sector in both North and Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Growth in M&A in the African insurance sector is expected for the following three reasons:

  • The growth prospects of the whole continent are strong and penetration rates are low;
  • The legal and regulatory environment is improving significantly – e.g. the OHADA Uniform Act, which is making it easier for international investors to invest in the region since it came into force last year;
  • Regulatory authorities – such as the Moroccan ACAPS of the Central and West African CIMA – are being created in countries across the region with the intention of aligning with the international standards in the sector.