LeapFrog Investments, Lombard Investments, and Syn Mun Kong Insurance Public Company Limited (SMK) [SMK:Bangkok] announced today that LeapFrog and Lombard will each acquire approximately 11 percent of SMK, from Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc (RSA).
The venture is the second acquisition in which LeapFrog, a private equity firm with a focus on Africa and Asia, has been involved recently. Last month it bought a majority stake in Kenya’s Resolution Insurance.
The bulletin said: “SMK is Thailand’s second largest automobile insurer and fifth largest general insurer. Founded in 1951, SMK is well-placed to capture growth in Thailand, where insurance penetration is low but market demand accelerating.”
SMK is growing at a rapid pace. In addition to its strong position in auto insurance its general insurance operations include specialized health, personal accident, fire, marine and transportation insurance offerings.
Thailand’s population is around 67 million people, and “represents an underpenetrated automotive insurance market now growing at an average rate of 18 percent per year between 2009 and 2012,” said the announcement.
SMK’s CEO Reungdej Dusdeesurapoj expressed his delight at becoming a partner with LeapFrog and Lombard. He indicated that together they would “bring considerable business operating expertise to our firm. We expect to draw on LeapFrog’s unique experience in general insurance business in emerging markets, and access Lombard’s deep local market expertise in Thailand.”
Lombard Investments Managing Director Pote Videt, said: “SMK is an outstanding family business with a demonstrated track record of growth and profitability. We believe the combined skills of Lombard and LeapFrog can contribute SMK to achieving higher levels of performance”.
LeapFrog Investments Partner and Co-Head of Asia Stewart Langdon, added: “So much of good business is about the people; SMK is staffed with a performance focused management team responsible for creating an exceptional business. The team is in an ideal strategic position to capture rapid growth from the emerging consumer segment while delivering financial inclusion at scale. We are delighted to invest alongside Lombard, a well-established firm with an exceptionally successful, long term history of investment in Thailand.”
Source: LeapFrog Investments, Lombard Investments
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