The European Commission (EU) has stated that Hungary’s decision to veto the Vienna Insurance Group‘s (VIG) acquisition of the Hungarian unit of AEGON violates Article 21 of the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR).

Hungary has been ordered by the EU authorities to withdraw its veto by 18 March 2022.

“If Hungary fails to implement the decision, the Commission may decide to launch an infringement procedure before the Court of Justice,” the commission said in a statement.

In November 2020, Aegon agreed to sell its Central and Eastern European business for €830m to Vienna Insurance Group (VIG).

This agreement covers the insurer’s insurance, pension and asset management business in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Turkey.

Last week, VIG reached an agreement with Hungarian state holding firm Corvinus.

The deal will see Corvinus acquire a 45% stake in the Hungarian VIG companies for €350m.

The Hungarian VIG companies will be controlled by the Hungarian VIG holding company along with Dutch holding firms – Aegon Hungary Holding B.V. and Aegon Hungary Holding II B.V.

Corvinus will have a 45% non-controlling interest in each of these holding firms, while VIG will have a 55% majority stake. 

In September 2021, Budapest Metropolitan Court ruled against VIG’s acquisition of Aegon’s Hungarian operations.

Notably, the EU had cleared the deal in August last year; however, the Hungarian authorities have argued that the acquisition threatened the country’s interests.