AXA buys 8% stakes in Africa Internet Group at US$84 million …

LAGOS, Nigeria, Capital Markets in Africa  — French insurer AXA plans to invest 75 million euros (US$84 million) in Africa Internet Group (AIG), the owner of online retailer Jumia. AXA and AIG view Africa as a fast developing market for financial services and insurance products, benefiting from strong fundamentals such as low penetration rates, rise in middle class, urbanization as well as the youth of its population.

The deal will give the AXA, an 8 percent stake in AIG, making it one of the company’s four largest shareholders alongside MTN Group Limited,  Millicom International Cellular SA and Berlin-based Rocket Internet SE, AIG said in a statement issued on Monday.  The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of this year. 

The additional capital contributed by AXA will further strengthen the balance sheet and support AIG’s continued growth. Jumia, AIG’s main subsidiary, is currently present in 11 African markets and grew its transaction volume (GMV) by 265% during first 9 months of 2015 to reach Euro 206 million. Jumia is part of broader ecosystem of services providing opportunities for local African businesses to do business with the fast-growing African consumers and middle class.

The partnership will make AXA the exclusive provider of insurance products and services through Jumia and other AIG online and mobile platforms in Africa. Going forward, AXA’s African insurance companies plan to propose custom-made insurance products to Jumia and AIG’s e-commerce client base through its ecosystem of marketplaces and classifieds services.

“This transaction confirms AXA’s long-term commitment towards the African markets and represents another step in our development on the continent. Africa is home to some of the most dynamic and promising insurance markets in the world and our partnership with Africa Internet Group will enable us to accelerate materially our development by having access to their rich customer base and to their state-of-the-art e-commerce technology. Going forward, we aim to enable African consumers to better access insurance solutions to create sustainable financial well-being throughout their lives and those of their dependants”, added Denis Duverne, Deputy CEO of AXA.

“Internet is creating unparalleled opportunities for consumers and businesses in Africa to connect and do business in a new way. We continue to be very excited about the growth prospects of Jumia and this new partnership will enable us to capture them,” said Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, founders and co-CEOs of Jumia and AIG.

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