Italy’s Banco BPM has announced plans to take full control of its life insurance joint venture with French insurance major Covea.

The deal, which is valued at around €310m, will see Banco BPM acquire the remaining 81% stake in Bipiemme Vita.

Notably, the life insurance JV holds the entire share capital of Bipiemme Assicurazioni, which operates in the non-life or general insurance space.

Upon completion, which is subject to regulatory clearance, Banco BPM expects to receive €120m as extraordinary dividend.

The transaction is part of BPM Group’s 2021-2024 plan, which includes the internalisation of the insurance business by the end of 2023.

Bipiemme Vita and Bipiemme Assicurazioni’s operating and organisational structure will allow BPM Group to develop its insurance business in-house, the lender noted.

Furthermore, the insurance businesses will allow the scalability of the platform and support the subsequent integration of Vera Vita and Vera Assicurazioni.

Currently, Banco BPM has a 35% stake in Vera Vita and Vera Assicurazioni insurance ventures with Generali Group’s Cattolica Assicurazioni.

Banco BPM can exercise its call option to buy the remaining 65% in JVs with Generali from 1 January 2023.

The announcement follows France’s Crédit Agricole’s decision to acquire a minority stake in Banco BPM to expand the scope of their partnerships, currently aimed at retail customers.

According to a Bloomberg report, AXA is in talks with Banco BPM to acquire its insurance business but the deal may not materialise after Crédit Agricole’s move.