According to a report by Fitch Ratings, European life consolidation activity picked up following a slow start to 2022 with four acquisitions announced within less than two months.
Of the deals announced, two were in Germany, with one each in the UK and Netherlands. This brings the year-to-date volume by liabilities to around €60bn.
Fitch expects the proportion of life consolidation transaction volumes within EU markets to rise, while UK volume growth will be lower given the large volumes seen since 2016.
The UK was the dominant market for such deals from 2016 to 2019, with around 77% of life liabilities transacted in European consolidation deals. However, Fitch observed a drop to 25% after 2020, while the contribution from transactions involving German liabilities rose to 30%.
The strong drivers supporting consolidation in European life insurance markets remain intact, says Fitch, adding that it does not expect a higher interest rate environment to materially affect the merits for buyers and sellers.
However, the ratings agency notes that forecasting market volumes on a calendar year basis is difficult as they may be skewed by a handful of large deals. Since 2016, 19% of transactions amounted to 76% of liabilities transacted.