Generali and PPF Group: signing of final contract creates Generali PPF Holding B.V.
The creation of the joint venture is a major step in the two groups’ expansion strategies in one of the most promising regions for the insurance business, and creates a solid platform for further growth opportunities in neighbouring areas.
The agreement, which confirms the terms and conditions already announced to the market last 26 April, values the Central and Eastern Europe insurance assets transferred by PPF Group at
€ 3.6 billion and those transferred by Generali at € 1.5 billion. Additionally, the Generali Group will pay PPF Group € 1.1 billion to achieve 51% of the joint venture. PPF Group will hold the remaining 49%.
Generali Group CEO Sergio Balbinot, Chairman of the new Generali PPF Holding, said: “This signing has taken place well ahead of our initial schedule and strengthens our operations in one of the world’s most attractive areas for insurance development. The agreement marks an acceleration of our expansion strategy as we achieve another target in our strategic plan, and will allow us to leverage our full business potential for the benefit of both clients and shareholders.”
“Once again we have demonstrated our ability to seize rapidly the best opportunities arising in the market – opportunities the Generali Group selects on the basis of value creation and profitability criteria.”
“On the basis of our experience in other countries, we believe we have made a winning move in forming a partnership with a local operator like PPF Group, which boasts an impressive track record in the region,” Mr Balbinot continued. “To all effects Assicurazioni Generali can be considered one of the world’s most active multinationals in the high-growth markets that will help determine the success of international players in the coming years.”
Ladislav Bartonicek, CEO of Generali PPF Holding and Chairman of Ceska pojistovna Board of Directors, added: “The newly established Generali PPF Holding will leverage PPF Group’s proven track record in value creation in the CEE region and Generali’s core insurance competencies and financial strength. I am fully convinced that Generali PPF Holding will have the strategic and managerial capabilities to succeed in fast growing insurance markets,” Mr. Bartonicek continued. “We are currently building a strong and experienced international management team in order to deliver best in class insurance products in all markets in which we operate and to achieve growth in shareholder value in the future.”
Generali PPF Holding intends to begin operations by the end of the year. The transaction is subject to the approval of the competent authorities.
Generali in Central and Eastern Europe
Europe’s third-largest insurer, as well as Italy’s market leader, with total premium income of more than € 64 billion, the Generali Group is active in insurance and asset management in 10 Central and Eastern European countries, where, in addition to its expanding business performance, it has been pursuing an external growth strategy, with the acquisition of four companies in 2006, in Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Ukraine.
Total premium income in the region amounted to € 1,159 million in 2006, +24.6% over 2005 (62% non-life and 38% life). Net profit was € 48 million. New business value amounted to € 28.9 million, up 66% over the previous year, while the combined ratio stood at 92.8%.