Greece: new bid for the Ethniki acquisition

After the failure of the previously announced acquisition attempts made by Fosun, Exin or Gongbao, it seems that a new opportunity to sell Ethniki - Hellenic General Insurance Co. presented itself to National Bank of Greece, with a bid launched by a consortium led by Hannover Re S.E.

Although the German group refused to confirm its interest in acquiring the Greek insurer, CNN.gr has announced, citing sources, that a consortium led by Hannover Re S.E. has made on 20 November an offer to buy 75% of Hellenic General Insurance Co. S.A.. According to the Commitment Letter quoted by CNN.gr, the consortium estimates the total value of the Greek company in the range of EUR 850 million to EUR 893 million, meaning that the transaction price to acquire 75% will be close to EUR 700 million. In addition, the source says, the proposal includes a ten-year bancassurance contract that could bring to the Greek National Bank an additional revenue of 155 million euros.

Yet, according to local sources, the chances to successful sale of the Ethniki are doubtful and many believe that, given the positive evolution of the company in the last years, it might be possible that in the end the chosen solution to be an IPO. AS NBG's representatives stated previously, the cancelling of the company's sale is also a possibility under consideration.

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition has agreed with the insurer's parent National Bank of Greece S.A. to extend the sale deadline until March 2019, sources said.

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