Brazil-based reinsurance firm Austral Resseguradora (Austral Re) has signed an agreement with Terra Brasis Resseguros to merge their operations.

This merger is expected to create a leading player in the reinsurance market of  Brazil.

Together, the two companies held gross reinsurance premiums of R$ 672m ($172m) in 2018.

After the merger, Austral Re parent company Vinci Partners Investimentos will hold the controlling hold on the operation along with Brasil Plural group and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is the investment unit of the World Bank.

The deal requires approval from the Brazilian antitrust regulator CADE and the Private Insurance Supervisory Regulator (SUSEP).

Austral Re CEO Bruno Freire will become the CEO of the new insurance entity, while Terra Brasis CEO Rodrigo Botti will assume the role of CFO.

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Austral Re CEO Bruno Freire said: “The merger provides an extraordinary opportunity for long-term value creation.

“We expect the combined businesses to capture significant operating, administrative and economic- financial synergies. This is a partner which has a broad knowledge of the sector and will bring about an invigorated capacity for growth and international expansion of business.”

Terra Brasis Re president Rodrigo Botti said: “It is a unique opportunity to speed up the expansion strategies with a new strength and dimension. We are excited about the opportunity to gain scale, the product portfolio and the commitment of our teams.”

The merged entity will serve insurance industry in all the business categories along with new solutions and risk management.