Italian Generali in search for acquiring a Russian insurer, rumors say; see who are the targets

18 March 2021 — Daniela GHETU
Italian group Generali is considering an about EUR 2 billion worth acquisition in Russia, that will add to its already existing 38.5% stake in one of Russia's largest insurers Ingosstrakh, Reuters reported quoting a non-disclosed source and the Italian press.

Although the project is still at a very early stage, it seems that VTB Insurance, Rosgosstrakh and RESO-Garantia are on the short list of potential targets. Generali's investment committee, thet was presented the acquisition plan by its chairman, Chief Executive Philippe Donnet, expressed concerns about the country risk linked to Russia and asked for further details, the source added. According to Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, the preferred target for an acquisition may be non-life insurance business, the most likely candidate being RESO-Garantia.

While Generali declined to comment for Reuters, it seems the plan should answer to the requests expressed by some the insurer's key shareholders, for the Group to further grow. Recently, Donnet has mentioned that Generali has resources allotted for potential M&As of over EUR 2 billion, also emphasizing that the CEE region remains of strategic importance for the group, which will seek for means of strengthening its position in the region.

The target companies are holding good positions in the Russian insurance market rankings:

  • With GWP in 2020 worth EUR 1.4 billion, RESO-Garantia ranks 3rd according to total GWP ranking, with a 7% market share. The company's share in total non-life business is of 9.8%, ranking 3rd (GWP EUR 1.19 billion in 2020)
  • Rosgosstrakh ranks 6th (total market), with a market share of 5.5% and premiums worth EUR 940 million in 2020, entirely written for non-life. The company's market share in the non-life insurance market was of 7.7% in 2020.
  • VTB Insurance is smaller company, holding a 0.7% share of the Russian total insurance market (1% for the non-life insurance market). The company ranks 23rd with total GWP worth EUR 122 million in 2020.