ACE Limited announced Friday that it will acquire the large corporate property/casualty business of Itaú Seguros, S.A. from Itaú Unibanco S.A. for roughly $685 million—a deal that will make ACE the largest commercial P/C insurer in the largest market in Latin America.

According to ACE, the Itaú Seguros large corporate P/C insurance business was established in 2006 and has been 100 percent owned by Itaú Unibanco, Brazil’s largest non-government bank, since 2009.

In 2013, the business had just under $1 billion in gross written premiums—approximately $950 million—and 18 percent of Brazil’s large corporate market.

The business focuses on a broad array of property and marine coverages for large corporate accounts.

In a statement announcing the definitive agreement to buy the business, Evan G. Greenberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ACE Limited, said: “Brazil is a large and important market to ACE’s strategy in Latin America,” adding that Itaú Seguros’s large corporate P/C insurance book will “complement and deepen” ACE’s longstanding presence in Brazil “in a significant way.”

Separately, Itaú Unibanco said the deal is in line with its strategy of focusing on the distribution of its insurance products through its retail banking network, credit cards and branded cards, while increasing its insurance premiums throughout the bank’s activities in life and personal accidents, theft, lending, travel, extended warranty and other mass market products.

The business being sold to ACE has roughly 320 employees, a national distribution footprint and relationships with more than 600 brokers, both buyer and seller said.

The management and teams of Itaú Seguros’s large property and casualty insurance business will join ACE, ensuring a seamless transition for clients, the bank said.

In Itaú Unibanco’s statement, Marcio Schettini, executive vice president of Itaú Unibanco, said: “Under Itaú Unibanco’s stewardship, the large property and casualty insurance business has developed into the clear market leader. As we strengthen our focus on our retail insurance activities, we are delighted that ACE has made us a compelling offer to acquire the business and allow it to continue gaining scale.”

Prior to the acquisition, ACE’s existing operations in Brazil include an established commercial and personal P/C business, a significant accident and health insurance business, as well as life insurance and reinsurance.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval. It is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015 and be accretive to earnings immediately.

Source: ACE Limited; Itaú Unibanco

Topics Carriers Property Casualty