Generali Sells Belgian Operations – GEB Not Affected
Generali in April 2018 sold Generali Belgium to Athora Holding for EUR 540 million.
Generali Belgium is primarily focused on the life segment but also offers P/C products. After the sale, Generali will remain present in Belgium through its Global Business Lines and especially Generali’s multinational pooling network GEB as well as through Europ Assistance.
Athora is likely to rename the company after completion of the deal; it will remain GEB’s network partner in Belgium. As a result, multinational pooling clients are expected to remain unaffected by the change.
According to Frédéric de Courtois, Group CEO Global Business Lines & International, the transaction is part of the Generali’s overall strategy to “optimize its geographical footprint and to improve its operational efficiency and capital allocation”. Coming after Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, the Netherlands and Ireland – for a total value of over EUR 1.1 billion – the deal is part of an ongoing initiative that is expected to continue in the coming months.
The transaction in Belgium is expected to add approximately 2.6 percentage points to Generali’s Solvency II ratio. The contribution of Generali Belgium to the Group’s net result was EUR 22 million in 2017. The sale is also expected to generate a capital gain at Group level of approximately €150 million that will be booked on closing, probably during the second half of 2018.
Athora in April 2017 raised approximately EUR 2.2 billion from global institutional investors – including Apollo Global Management – to support transactions in the European insurance market. After Delta Lloyd Lebensversicherung in 2015 (now renamed Athene Lebensversicherung), it acquired Aegon Ireland in early April 2018. Generali Belgium is Athora’s third acquisition and country, and its first predominantly non-life company. Apollo’s current investments in the insurance industry include Tranquilidade (Portugal), Amissima (Italy), and Catalina Holdings (Americas and Europe).