Baloise Group, a Swiss insurer, has moved to acquire Belgian insurance firm Fidea NV from China’s Anbang Insurance Group in a deal worth €480 million.
The purchase will see Baloise edge closer to becoming a top four non-life insurer in the Belgian market, increasing its share by 1.7% to 8.5%.
In the life business, the acquisition will increase market share by 0.7% to 4.2%.
“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,” said Group Chief Executive Officer Gert De Winter.
“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 purchase also diversifies the non-life portfolio within the Group. With a 37% share of the total volume, the Belgian non-life business is now roughly the same size as that of the Swiss business unit.
More than two thirds of Fidea’s CHF 351.6 million reported profits for 2018 came from the non-life business.
In keeping with Baloise’s business strategy, Fidea’s non-life business mainly concentrates on growth segments in the retail customers business and on business with small and medium-sized companies.
Fidea is based in Antwerp and employs around 360 staff, who will transfer to Baloise under the deal.
“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 Insurance is a preferred partner of customers and brokers,” added Henk Janssen, CEO of Baloise Insurance in Belgium.
“Together with our new colleagues, we will be able to serve the market even more effectively and win over even more customers and partners for our services.”