Using the platform of an alliance forged in November 2010, German insurer Talanx and Japanese insurer Meiji Yasuda Life are to jointly acquire control of Polish insurance holding company Europa Group. This follows an agreement reached with Polish financial services company Getin Holding Group which has a 66.5% stake in Warsaw Stock Exchange-listed Europa Group.
Europa Group comprises two insurance subsidiaries, life insurer Towarzystwo Ubezpieczen na Zycie (TUZ) and general insurer Towarzystwo Ubezpieczen Europa (TUE). TUZ is the larger of the two having generated life premium income of €988m ($1.29bn) in 2010. TUE generated general insurance premium income of €126m.
Talanx, Germany’s third-largest insurer, will hold the largest but an unspecified stake in Europa Group. Meiji Yasuda Life’s stake has also not been specified. However, according to a report in the Warsaw Business Journal, Getin will sell a 50.1% stake in Europa Group to Talanx and Meiji Yasuda Life for PLN 912m ($268m) and retain its remaining stake. The partners intend to proceed with an offer to all minority shareholders that include Dutch group ING which Europa Group reports as having a 10.58% stake.
TUZ and TUE will join Talanx’s existing Polish operations, life insurer HDI-Gerling Zycie and general insurer HDI Asekuracja.
Under the agreement, Getin will enter into a long-term bancassurance agreement with Talanx and Meiji Yasuda Life. The agreement will cover Getin’s two Polish banks, Getin Bank and Idea Bank, as well as Getin’s banking interests in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Talanx also has bancassurance alliances in Russia, Hungary and Turkey.
The bancassurance deal with Getin is crucial to the success of TUZ and TUE which began developing bancassurance as their primary distribution channel in 2004. According to the Europa Group, TUZ’s premium income represents almost one fifth of premiums written through the Polish life bancassurance segment. TUE’s premium income accounts for a third of general insurance premiums written through bancassurance channels.