CIG Pannonia is the potential buyer of Hungarian Aegon unit

26 April 2021 — Andrei Victor
After the decision of the Hungarian authorities to block the sale of Aegon NV's local unit to Vienna Insurance Group in a regional deal of EUR 830 million sale of Dutch insurer's CEE operations to Austrian insurer, Hungarian CIG Pannonia could be the potential buyer, Bloomberg informed here.

"With the transaction in doubt, a clutch of potential suitors including Hungarian insurer CIG Pannonia NYRT. are seen as ready to replace Vienna Insurance, if the deal does indeed fall through, according to two people in the financial industry, who also asked not to be identified. CIG didn't respond to a request to comment.

CIG's biggest stakeholder is a company partly owned by Lorinc Meszaros, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's closest business ally", wrote Bloomberg.

Local Porfolio.hu mentioned in an article published here that CIG Pannonia is among the potential buyers of Aegon Hungary, pointing out that "CIG Pannonia may not be enough to buy Aegon Hungary, which is valued HUF 100-150 billion".

"CIG Pannonia's shares (...), which is now considered a potential buyer for Aegon, increased 13% on the Budapest Stock Exchange in the two days following the decision, the company's value being at about HUF 30 billion. However, is much smaller than Aegon Hungary", wrote Portfolio.hu.

Thus, Portfolio.hu concluded that the Aegon Hungary's acquisition by CIG Pannonia would only be possible with the involvement of much larger co-owners, such as the Hungarian state, citing an interview given in November 2020 by Istvan Fedak, CEO of CIG Pannonia, about the possible acquisition of Aegon: "I did not take part in any discussion on this. I would be very happy with such a transaction, but I don't know if we would be interested in that".

In mid-April, the transaction announced by Aegon in November 2020, of selling to Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) its insurance, pension and asset management business in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Turkey for a total consideration of EUR 830 million, has been stalled by Hungarian Ministry of Interior's unexpected denying of approval. (More details here)

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