MONTENEGRO: Rumors confirmed: GRAWE to buy majority stake in non-life insurer SWISS

1 September 2020 — Andrei Victor
ANO - The Montenegrin Insurance Supervision Agency announced that on August 26, 2020, the Council has issued the Decision on appropval to the Austrian group GRAZER Wechselseitige Versicherung Aktiengesellschaft to buy the majority stake in SWISS Insurance Company.

"On August 26, 2020, the Council of the Insurance Supervision Agency held its 308th session, at which, among other things, the following was adopted: Decision on approval of GRAZER Wechselseitige Versicherung Aktiengesellschaft for direct acquisition, ie approval of GRAWE-Vermogensverwaltung for indirect acquisition of qualifying holding in the amount of over 50% of share capital in the insurance company SWISS osiguranje AD Podgorica".

Currently, the majority owner og SWISS Isurance is the hotel company FJORD from Kotor (~65%), run by the ALPHA Invest company owned by Veselin BAROVIC, also a Swiss shareholder.

GRAWE osiguranje is the largest life insurer in Montenegro (out of four insurers) - GWP of EUR 7.08 million in 2019, market share of 41.33%. On the other side, SWISS osiguranje was the smalles non-life insurer in the country (out of five players) -GWP of EUR 6.63 million, 8.54% market share.

GRAWE operates on Montenegrin market since September 2004. On local market, in 2017 GRAWE acquired MERCUR osiguranje for EUR 1.39 million and took over the remaining assets of ATLAS life, a bankrupt insurance company two years ago. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, through its two subsidiaries based in FBiH and RS, has acquired VGT osiguranje, ATOS osiguranje, and recently purchased DUNAV osiguranje's life insurance portfolio.

In March 2020, wrote here about the possibility of GRAWE to negociate to acquire an initial 30% stake in SWISS osiguranje and then expanding the business to non-life insurance and buying the remaining shares.

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