November 4, 2013 / 7:46 AM / in 4 years

S.Africa's MMI to buy Alexander Forbes Guardrisk unit for R1.6 bln

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JOHANNESBURG, Nov 4 (Reuters) - South African insurer MMI Holdings said on Monday it will buy the specialist insurance unit of financial services firm Alexander Forbes for 1.6 billion rand ($157 million) to help diversify its business.

MMI said it will pay for the Guardrisk unit of unlisted Alexander Forbes from its capital, adding the deal would give it specialist insurance products for large corporate clients.

Alexander Forbes said the sale was in line with its strategy of targeting individual and public-sector customers.

Alexander Forbes is planning to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in the second half of next year, its chief executive has said.

The company was taken private in 2007 by a group of private equity investors led by London-based Actis and South African firm Ethos.

Shares of MMI were flat at 24.70 rand at 0729 GMT. ($1 = 10.1689 South African rand) (Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Ed Stoddard)

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