Ageas acquires Groupama

Company brief

deal!Ageas UK (Ageas) has confirmed that it has signed an agreement under which it will acquire London-based Groupama Insurance Company Limited (GICL), for a total consideration of £116 million. The acquisition will see Ageas ascend to the position of fifth-largest UK insurer (with a market share of 5.2 per cent), fourth largest private motor insurer (with a 11.7-per-cent market share) and fourth largest personal lines insurer (with a 7.1-per-cent share). The strategy is part of Ageas’ multi-channel distribution approach, and its desire to consolidate its foothold in the UK market. The transaction will not include Groupama’s UK broking operations.

It is predicted that annual projected gross written premiums for Ageas resulting from the acquisition – based on 2011 non-life income for Ageas and GICL – will increase by approximately 20 per cent on a promo forma basis, to over £2.1 billion. Ageas chief executive officer (CEO) Bart De Smet welcomed the agreement ‘on its strategic and financial merits and as an important next step in the execution of the Ageas Group strategy towards a well balanced portfolio in terms of life and non-life business’.

The deal is still subject to regulatory approval, and closing is expected by the end of the year.