Dubai: The UAE insurance sector is seeing another round of consolidation, with Dubai-headquartered Sukoon Insurance (formerly Oman Insurance Co.) getting the go ahead to acquire Arabian Scandinavian Insurance Co. (or Ascana).
The approval has been granted from the UAE Central Bank and Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) to proceed with the proposed acquisition. It was late last year that Sukoon confirmed interest in making such a deal, during a time when the insurance sector was witness to heavy M&A activity.
Sukoon signed a share purchase agreement in December 2022 to acquire more than 93 per cent in the DFM-listed takaful insurer Ascana. "The acquisition is in line with its strategy to diversify its sources of business and consolidate its presence in the UAE and GCC while allowing it to enter the growing takaful insurance market," a statement said.
Jean-Louis Laurent Josi, CEO of Sukoon Insurance, said “With this transaction, we aim to capitalize on Ascana’s deep expertise in the takaful market, and at the same time allow Ascana to leverage our capabilities in specialized underwriting, digital, and customer experience to further enhance its outreach and value proposition.”
This is the second major local deal Sukoon has been associated with recently. Earlier, it bought out the UAE portfolio of the Italian insurer Generali.
Sukoon recorded gross written premiums (GWP) of Dh3.54 billion in 2021. It is 'A' rated by AM Best, A by Standard & Poor's and A2 by Moody's.
Wave of deal-making in UAE insurance
Through recent months, UAE insurance has seen deals between Dar Al Takaful and Watania, while Dubai-based Aman wants to turn itself into more of an investment company. GIG Gulf bought out AXA's interests, while Oman's NLGIC did the same with RSA Middle East.
One deal however did not happen - that of Salama and Takaful Emarat. But amidst all of the heavy action that's happened and with more likely, it will not matter.