Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) has acquired the business of the Dutch insurer Aegon in Hungary for EUR 620 million, after receiving the approval of the local Hungarian authorities.
This completion is an important step towards the full closing of the sale of Aegon’s insurance, pension, and asset management businesses in Central and Eastern Europe to VIG for EUR 830 million, which was announced in November 2020.
The sales of Aegon’s businesses in Poland, Romania and Turkey are expected to be completed in the course of 2022, subject to required local regulatory approvals.
Lard Friese, CEO Aegon commented: “Today’s announcement marks an important step in the transformation of Aegon as we narrow our strategic focus to select core and growth markets, and further strengthen our balance sheet.
“I would like to sincerely thank our employees in Hungary for their significant contribution to Aegon over the years.”
The closing of the sale of the Hungarian businesses will result in a significant increase of Aegon’s Cash Capital at the Holding, which amounted to EUR 1.3 billion at the end of 2021, and brings it above the stated operating range of EUR 0.5 billion to EUR 1.5 billion.
This provides Aegon with the financial flexibility to announce a reduction of its debt through a EUR 375 million tender offer, as well as the intention to return surplus cash capital to its shareholders via a EUR 300 million share buyback, barring unforeseen circumstances.
These actions are in line with the ambitions stated at the Capital Markets Day in December 2020.
Friese added: “I am very pleased that by further reducing our debt, we are able to deliver on our deleveraging goal well ahead of our 2023 target date.
“Today’s announced share buyback also underscores our intention to return surplus cash capital to shareholders.”