Generali has closed the acquisition of the majority stakes in the AXAAffin joint ventures in Malaysia.

With these deals, Generali aims to become a top-tier general insurer player in the country, as part of its strategy to bolster its position in high potential markets.

Generali has bought a 70% stake in the AXA Affin Life Insurance joint venture – 49% from AXA and 21% from Affin, and an around 53% stake in the AXA Affin General Insurance joint venture – 49.99% from AXA and 3% from Affin.

Furthermore, the group has also raised its present 49% interest in MPI Generali Insurans Berhad to 100%, buying the shares held by Multi-Purpose Capital Holdings Berhad (MPHB Capital), Generali’s  Malaysian JV partner.

Generali announced these deals in June 2021.

Generali intends to integrate MPI Generali and AXA Affin Generali Insurance businesses, and on closure of the deal will hold 70% of the combined business.

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Affin Bank will have 30% stake in both the life and general insurance businesses.

Until a single unified brand called Generali Malaysia is launched early next year, all the firms will continue to function their existing brands.

These deals will enable Generali to access the country’s life insurance segment.

Furthermore, Generali has signed an exclusive bancassurance agreement with Affin Bank for the divestment of traditional general and life insurance products.

Generali CEO for international Jaime Anchústegui Melgarejo said: “The transactions are fully aligned with Generali’s ‘Lifetime Partner 24: Driving Growth’ strategy to strengthen our leadership position in high potential markets.

“We are now one of the largest General Insurance players in Malaysia – a country with strong potential for further growth thanks to economic development and its current low-insurance penetration.”

Generali Asia regional officer Rob Leonardi said: “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our people we are excited to move onto the next phase of consolidating our position in Malaysia, a high potential market for Generali in Asia.

“This is a unique opportunity to combine our talents and resources to create a unified brand that will have the scale, breadth, and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the Malaysian insurance market, and provide greater value for our customers.”

HSBC served as sole financial advisor to Generali on the deals. Law firm Wong & Partners acted as the legal advisor.