Generali agrees to buy out PPF JV for 2.5 bln euros

MILAN Tue Jan 8, 2013 2:11am EST

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MILAN Jan 8 (Reuters) - Italy's largest insurer Generali said on Tuesday it had agreed to pay 2.5 billion euros ($3.27 billion) to buy the 49 percent of an insurance joint venture with Czech group PPF it does not already own.

The purchase of GPH, a fast-growing eastern European joint venture, will be carried out in two stages, with Generali buying a 25 percent stake by 28 March 2013 and the rest at the end of 2014.

It represents the first major deal engineered by new Generali Chief Executive Mario Greco, who was appointed in August to boost profitability at Europe's third-largest insurer and is reviewing Generali's entire portfolio of assets.

Analysts had long said Generali needed to make up its mind on the future of its relationship with PPF, which had an option to sell its 49 percent stake in GPH to Generali or a third party.

Generali is to present the result of its strategic review to investors in London on Jan. 14. ($1 = 0.7634 euros) (Reporting By Lisa Jucca; Editing by Francesca Landini)

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