Assicurazioni Generali SpA agreed to buy the Greek operations of French insurer AXA SA as part of its plans to expand in European non-life and health businesses.

The Italian company will pay 165 million euros ($203 million) for AXA Greece, equivalent to 12.2 times 2019 earnings, subject to closing adjustments, it said in the statement. Generali has also extended an existing distribution agreement between AXA and Alpha Bank AE by 20 years beyond its current expiration date of March 2027.

AXA currently sells insurance products in Greece through a long-term distribution agreement with Alpha Bank, making the renegotiation of the partnership a key step for the agreement. The business distributes its products through a network of more than 600 agents. In 2019, AXA Greece posted total gross insurance premiums of about 168 million euros.

Generali Chief Executive Officer Philippe Donnet said in July that the current economic crisis also presented new opportunities. In November, he said Generali had as much as 2.5 billion euros earmarked for acquisitions and would consider mid-size deals in the insurance and asset management sectors.

Photograph: A sign sits on the wall of the Rome headquarters of Assicurazioni Generali SpA in Rome, Italy, on Friday, January 27, 2017. Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg