UPDATE: MetLife's business acquisition by NN Group, in Poland and Greece, agreed upon for a consideration of EUR 584 million

8 July 2021 — Daniela GHETU
The potential acquisition reported by XPRIMM last week has become a certainty, with Dutch Group NN agreeing with American MetLife to acquire the latter's business activities in Poland and Greece for a consideration of EUR 584 million.

The acquisition will further bolster NN's leading market positions, strengthening its position in life and pensions in Poland, while creating the market leading insurance company in Greece. Closing of the transaction is subject to obtaining the necessary regulatory and competition clearances and is expected in the first half of 2022.

David Knibbe, CEO of NN Group: "Strategically and financially this is a unique opportunity for NN to enhance value and consolidate our leading positions in these markets. The acquisition will add scale, provide growth opportunities and drive diversification in life and protection in markets with low insurance penetration rates. Having built our NN business in Greece since 1980 and in Poland since 1994, we know and understand these markets well. MetLife's activities tie in well with ours, with a cultural fit and a mirrored business model, allowing for a smooth integration. While combining the strengths of both companies, we will continue to focus on the well-being of both our new and existing customers. We look forward to welcome around 2.7 million new customers and 450 new colleagues to our company, and to work together with around 1,600 additional (tied) agents and brokers."

In Poland, the largest market in Central and Eastern Europe, NN's market share in life will increase to 12% from 8%, which strengthens its position to around EUR 500 million annual gross written premium (GWP). NN's distribution reach will be expanded by adding a large network of 1,200 tied agents, as well as external partnerships.

In Greece, the transaction will make NN a leading life insurance company, with a combined 31% market share in life and health, and an 18% overall market share. NN will become market leader in employee benefits and group pensions and expand the attractive Greek accident & health portfolio. The transaction includes a network of more than 400 tied agents, so adding 50% of capacity to the current tied agent sales force. NN in Greece will further diversify its distribution platform by adding broker and direct channels.

The acquisition is expected to create synergies and to lead to an incremental operating capital generation of EUR 50 million per annum in 2024 excluding part of the synergies that will be capitalised via assumption changes, and to generate a double-digit return on investments.

The transaction will be financed by a combination of cash capital at holding and around EUR 100 million of local surplus capital. NN's dividend policy and share buyback programme will not be affected.