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Pula Medical Aid snaps up Symphony

Rose Tatedi
Pula Medical Aid has sparked some hope for members of the sunken Symphony Health Medical Aid Trust, after submitting a successful bid to purchase it.

While Symphony’s remaining members approved the offer at a special general meeting recently, the deal is awaiting due diligence from regulators including the Competition Authority and the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA). 

If successful, the deal would mean that the 368 remaining members of Symphony Health Medical Trust would transfer to Pula subject to terms and conditions. Initially, Symphony had about 900 members but many terminated their membership during the solvency storm that shrouded the medical aid outfit last year.

While the value of the deal is currently unclear, Symphony Trust’s revenue as at December 2017 stood at P8.6 million, while actual contributions collected were P186,000.

Maemo Mesotlo, the curator appointed over Symphony by NBFIRA, told BusinessWeek that following the invitation of expression of interest in the acquisition and administration of Symphony earlier this month, only two medical aid companies showed interest.  “On the 2nd of March, I received two expressions of interest from medical aid schemes operating in Botswana. I requested them having responded to the expression of interest to submit their proposals by 5th March and I received a proposal from one of the medical aid schemes,” he said.

Sources have confirmed to BusinessWeek that the two were Pula and Bomaid.

Pula is offering to acquire Symphony’s membership book highlighting that members would be subject to any waiting period, save only to their current medical aid’s exclusions.

“Certain terminated members who joined other medical aids and have outstanding service provider claims from the time they

were with Symphony are also welcome and would have benefit of those obligations being managed by the Pula,” Mesotlo said.

Since the termination of Symphony’s administrative service contract by the board of trustees last August, the scheme was left without any administrative management, which resulted in NBFIRA intervening. Just days later, the regulatory authority placed the scheme under temporary closure as a result of pending compliance requirements in accordance with both the NBFIRA Act together with rules and regulations.

 Symphonic Pty was responsible for claims administration, customer service management, membership records management, financial administration, scheme management, secretarial services, legal compliance services, equipment and personnel management as well as hardware and software infrastructure management.

On December 7, 2017 the Board of Trustees resigned resulting in the scheme being unable to carry out its operations and objectives in accordance with the scheme rules. On December 21, the High Court appointed Mesotlo, partner of MSD Mesotlo & Associates as the curator of Symphony Health Trust to take control of all functions necessary for the continued operation of Symphony or its dissolution. Earlier this year, Symphony’s founder and principal officer, Rose Tatedi submitted a recommendation to NBFIRA to liquidate the fund considering its financial performance.

However, this was never successful as the curator suggested another alternative, being amalgamation.

During the special general meeting with Symphony’s members on February this year, they opted for the amalgamation to be evaluated and concluded within 60 days, leading to the two bids.




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