GENERALI consolidates its presence in Greece with the acquisition of AXA's units

7 January 2021 — Andrei Victor
Global insurers AXA and GENERALI announced that they entered into an agreement on the Greek market. Under the terms of the agreement, AXA will sell its Life & Savings and Property & Casualty businesses in the country to GENERALI for a consideration of EUR 165 million, representing a multiple of 12.2 times 2019 earnings, subject to closing adjustments.

Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals, and is expected to be finalized by the end of 2Q 2021.

In the past years AXA Group decided to sell its business to VIG in Hungary (2015), Serbia (2016) and Romania (2017). At the same time, the Azeri operations were sold to Elkhan GARIBLI (2018), while the AXA's Ukrainian insurers were acquired by FAIRFAX Financial Holdings in 2019. More than that, in August 2020 EU Commission approves UNIQA's acquisition of AXA in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

"This transaction represents a continuation of AXA's simplification journey, in line with the Group's strategy", according to a statement published on the French insurer website.

Furthermore, GENERALI has renegotiated the distribution agreement currently in place between AXA Greece and ALPHA Bank expiring in March 2027 by extending it for twenty years from the closing of the acquisition, which entails certain future payments by the Greek GENERALI companies to ALPHA Bank, the amount of which will vary based on the performance of the partnership.

According to the French insurance group, AXA Greece was ranked 7th in the non-life insurance market and 8th in the life insurance market in 2019, offering a broad suite of products to more than 600,000 customers. The company has 249 employees and distributes its products through a diversified distribution mix, consisting of an exclusive bancassurance partnership with ALPHA Bank (approximately 3.1 million customers in Greece through a network of 347 bank branches), agents, brokers as well as direct distribution channels. GENERALI mentioned in a statement that in 2019 AXA Greece posted total GWP of approximately EUR 168 million.

"This acquisition is fully aligned with the GENERALI 2021 strategy, which aims to strengthen our leadership in Europe. With the purchase of AXA Greece and the exclusive long-term distribution agreement with ALPHA Bank, GENERALI decidedly strengthens its position in the local market, becoming the second largest group in the non-life and the third in the health sector in Greece", said Jaime Anchustegui MELGAREJO, International CEO of GENERALI.

GENERALI has been active in Greece since 1886 and is the 6th largest insurance company in the country, with a 5.3% market share. GENERALI offers comprehensive solutions in the non-life, health and life insurance sectors to its more than 305,000 clients across Greece. The company's extensive sales network is composed of almost 3,000 intermediaries and insurance agents nationwide and is supported by 268 highly skilled employees. In 2019, total gross premiums written amounted to approximately EUR 218 million.

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