UnipolSai CEO says still assessing Ageas offer for asset sale - paper

MILAN Tue Jan 7, 2014 2:32am EST

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MILAN Jan 7 (Reuters) - Italian insurer UnipolSai is still assessing an offer by Belgian rival Ageas for the assets it must sell to satisfy competition regulators, its chief executive was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Shares in UnipolSai started trading on Monday after a merger between insurers Unipol and Fondiaria-SAI gave birth to the second-biggest player in the Italian insurance market after Assicurazioni Generali.

On Dec. 24 Unipol said it had received an offer to buy the insurance business with 1.7 billion euros ($2.3 billion) worth of premiums that it must sell to meet conditions set by Italy's competition watchdog to clear the merger.

The following week Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore said the offer had been made by Ageas but it might not be sufficient.

"We're assessing closely the offer by Ageas but there are some requirements to be met," UnipolSai's chief executive Carlo Cimbri told Il Sole 24 Ore on Tuesday.

"It has be in line with a range of congruous values both in terms of market conditions and of overall context."

Cimbri also said UnipolSai had met its 2013 targets.

"Our plan at 2013 is absolutely in line if not above the initial forecasts," he said.

Asked if UnipolSai would convert its savings shares, Cimbri said it was inefficient to have three different categories of shares. Savings shares in UnipolSai include A and B category shares .

Cimbri said an expected share issue at Unipol Banca, a bank which is part of the insurance group, would be "in the order of millions not billions" of euros.

"We're waiting for the bank to present its new business plan and then we'll give due consideration to its possible recapitalisation needs." ($1 = 0.7330 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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