NORTH MACEDONIA: GRAWE received nod from regulator to acquire EUROLINK

10 March 2020 — Cosmin CONCEATU
On February 27, 2020, during Macedonian Insurance Supervision Agency (ISA) meeting, the Board of Experts decided to approve GRAWE's request to take over EUROLINK Skopje.

Grazer Wechselseitige Versicherung Aktiengesellschaft AG (GRAWE) was authorized to acquire shares representing a total cumulative amount of 75% of the total voting shares issued by the EUROLINK Skopje Joint Stock Company for an undisclosed sum.

EUROLINK Skopje is one of the biggest non-life insurers operating in North Macedonia. The company was founded in 2002 by Trifun Kostovski through his investment fund GOFI Group of Finance & Investment SA, based in Switzerland.

At the end of 2019, for 12 months ended, EUROLINK ranked on the 2nd place in the Macedonian non-life insurance sector, with a non-life GWP share of 11.6% (9.6% overall market share) and a premium volume of approx. MKD 1,013.1 million (~EUR 16.5 million).

The acquisition on EUROLINK will considerably boost GRAWE's presence in the Macedonian non-life sector. Macedonian GRAWE ended 2019 with a market share of 30.0% in life sector (2nd place) and 4.1% in non-life sector (11th place).

A merger between the two insurers will allow GRAWE to become the biggest Macedonian insurer, overtaking the big regional competitors from this particular market TRIGLAV, CROATIA and SAVA, taking the leading position.

The transaction is in line with GRAWE's strategy to expand in the CEE markets. Recently, GRAWE took over ATOS Osiguranje and DUNAV Osiguranje's life branch from Bosnia and Herzegovina, rumors from the industry speculating a possible acquisition of SWISS Osiguranje in Montenegro as well.

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