LeapFrog Investments divests Ghanaian insurance firm Express Life to Prudential

December 5
7:44 AM 2013

Specialist investor LeapFrog Investments has divested the majority stake it holds in Express Life to Prudential Plc. Express Life is an insurance firm based in Ghana founded by Obed Danquah. It gives savings and insurance products to clients in the urban and rural areas. LeapFrog Investments, meanwhile, specializes in providing financial services in the emerging markets. It provides insurance, savings and pensions products to more than 18 million people in countries like India, Indonesia, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

No financial details were provided about the transaction. In a statement LeapFrog said the deal marked the entry of one of the biggest insurance firms in the world to the rapidly-growing African insurance industry.

Doug Lacey, LeapFrog's lead partners in Ghana, said about the exit, "Our experience with Express Life demonstrates the value of specialist fund managers who can source promising investment opportunities in emerging markets and work closely with these companies to create customer and shareholder value. And now we see that they become attractive to global players also committed to building sustainable and impactful businesses."

Express Life only reached about 60,000 people when LeapFrog first made an investment in the Ghanaian insurer. Now, however, the firm has a customer base of more than 730,000 people, most of whom have used insurance and savings products for the first time.

According to Express Life Chief Executive Officer Mokobi Aryee, LeapFrog had given them strategic support and operational know-how from Day 1. He added, "As a hands-on investor, they helped us lay the platform for a promising future. Now, as part of Prudential we can achieve our common vision: to lead the insurance industry in Ghana, in service delivery and in meeting the needs of our current and future clients. "

Meanwhile, LeapFrog said its most recent fund held a first close of USD 204 million in September this year. 

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