UPDATE 1-UnipolSai agrees to sell assets with premiums of 1.1 bln euros to Allianz

Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:43pm EDT

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MILAN, March 15 (Reuters) - Italian insurer Unipol agreed on Saturday to sell assets with premiums worth about 1.1 billion euros ($1.53 billion) to Germany's Allianz, a move it said would allow it to comply with Italian regulators.

Italy's antitrust authority had ordered Unipol to sell a portfolio of assets with premiums worth about 1.7 billion euros after it agreed to buy troubled rival Fondiaria-SAI in 2012.

UnipolSai, a subsidiary of Unipol, said it would pocket up to 440 million euros from selling the assets, which belong to former Fondiaria unit Milano Assicurazioni, now part of UnipolSai.

"The agreement reached today with Allianz...allows the Unipol Group to comply with the extraordinary stringent measures ordered by (the Italian competition authority) after the bail-out of Fondiaria-SAI Group," Unipol chief executive Carlo Cimbri said in a statement.

The complex merger created Italy's second-biggest insurer with about 37 percent of the domestic auto insurance market.

UnipolSai and its parent Unipol said in January they had entered exclusive talks to sell the German insurer assets carrying premiums worth around 1.2 billion euros.

Company president Fabio Cerchiai said at the time the deal should satisfy the competition authority and said "the market has evolved" since the regulator made its original request and the value of the premiums generated had declined.

For Allianz, Europe's biggest insurer, a deal with Unipol would mean a further expansion in Italy, where it already ranks among the top six companies in terms of premium income.

($1 = 0.7181 Euros) (Reporting by Isla Binnie; editing by Philip Pullella)

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