AXA said that it has completed the nearly $1.2 billion cash sale of its life and savings, property and casualty, and pension businesses in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia to Austria’s UNIQA Insurance Group.
The deal was first announced in February.
UNIQA said it is both the largest acquisition in its company’s history and the largest acquisition to date in the Austrian insurance industry in the Central and Eastern European region.
With this acquisition, UNIQA strengthens its market position in the CEE markets by gaining 5 million new customers with a premium volume of $937 million. In Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the UNIQA Group now holds a top five position, according to the company.
“We have been operating successfully in the CEE region for 20 years. For us, the growth markets in Central and Eastern Europe are our second home market. With the purchase of the AXA companies, the profitable retail business and balanced product mix perfectly match our long-term growth strategy, we are now one of the leading insurance groups in the CEE region,” commented Andreas Brandstetter, CEO of the UNIQA Group.
“This transaction marks another step in the simplification of AXA’s footprint,” said AXA CEO Thomas Buberl. AXA has been exiting less profitable markets and moving away from life insurance.
AXA said the transaction is expected to result in a positive impact of +2 points on AXA Group’s Solvency II ratio in the fourth quarter.
UNIQA financed the purchase with its own funds plus the issue of a 10-year senior bond with a volume of $703 million.
For UNIQA, AXA Poland adds 3.2 million customers and revenues of $685 million, while AXA Czech Republic and Slovakia adds 1.6 million retail customers and revenues of about $200 million.
The deal brings UNIQA’s total customer base to 15 million in 18 countries. It is the second-largest insurance group in Austria with a market share of more than 21 per cent. It operates in 15 markets in the CEE growth region: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine. The UNIQA Group also includes insurance companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
*A version of this story appeared previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.