Swiss insurance company Baloise Group has agreed to acquire Belgian insurer Fidea for €480m from China-based Anbang Insurance Group.
The acquisition of Fidea is expected to bolster the position of Baloise in the Belgian non-life and life insurance market.
Furthermore, the transaction is said to boost Baloise’s share of the non-life business in the country by 1.7% percentage points to 8.5%, which would take it closer towards becoming a top four non-life insurer in the Belgian market.
In the life business, the Swiss insurance company through the acquisition will increase its market share by 0.7% percentage points to 4.2%.
According to Baloise, the deal will also help it diversify its non-life portfolio.
For the year 2018, Fidea had registered premiums of CHF351.6m ($310.34m), of which more than two thirds was generated from non-life business.
Baloise Insurance Belgium CEO Henk Janssen said: “I am pleased that this acquisition – our third in Belgium in the last ten years – will enable us to add market share and expand the existing sales network.”
Baloise said that Fidea’s non-life business primarily focuses on the growth segments in the retail customers business and on business with small and medium-sized firms. Based in Antwerp, Fidea had a workforce of around 360 people, who will transfer to Baloise as part of the deal.
In Belgium, Baloise, which operates as Baloise Insurance, provides a range of insurance services for individuals and for small and medium-sized companies.
Baloise Group CEO Gert De Winter said: “The acquisition of Fidea fits perfectly with our Simply Safe strategy, both in terms of strengthening the core business in our focus markets and the highly innovative and experimental approach to digitalisation.
“The acquisition and resulting synergies will provide a long-term boost to our growth potential and earnings power and give us additional market share in the attractive Belgian market.”
The transaction, which will be subject to clearance from relevant competition and regulatory authorities, is expected to be closed during the second half of 2019.
Headquartered in Basel, Baloise offers prevention, pension, assistance and insurance solutions. Its core markets include Switzerland, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg.
Earlier this year, Baloise through its Anthemis Baloise Strategic Ventures, made an investment in Stable, a London-based start-up, which created an index insurance product for food and farming businesses across the world. The insurance product is said to automatically reimburse lost income resulting from volatile prices.