will the Sanlam Saham takeover be affected by Rabat and Pretoria’s diplomatic hurdles ?

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South African Insurer Sanlam./Ph. DR

Morocco and the South Africa’s tensious diplomatic relations might be affecting Sanlam’s takeover of general insurer Saham, says Business Day on Thursday.

Although Sanlam’s share price remains uninfluenced by the diplomatic hurdles between the two countries, media reports suggested that South Africa’s stance on the Western Sahara dispute and its decision not to support Morocco’s 2026 World Cup bid will be delaying the operation.

They have also stated that the deadline set when the acquisition was first announced has been missed.

«One can’t really say how this might affect Sanlam. Even if there are delays, we don’t know how long they will be. But there doesn’t seem to be any major risk for Sanlam because financing for the deal will only be put in place once all approvals have been received», said, Jean Pierre Verster, a Fairtree Capital portfolio manager.

Answering questions related to the reported delay, the company’s CEO Iam Kirk said last week that the firm is looking forward to finalizing the takeover by the end of 2018.

Moreover, Sanlam issued on Wednesday a statement stressing that the deal is not being threatened and that contrary to reports «the transaction was subject to the fulfilment of conditions precedent, including, among others, various regulatory approvals».

«A number of these approvals have been received, with only a handful of approvals outstanding», added Sanlam, adding that it is «on track for the conclusion of the transaction by quarter four as earlier advised and in accordance with the originally envisaged timetable».

For the record, Sanlam announced in March that it is purchasing 53.3% stake in Saham in which it already owned 47%.

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