(Adds details, background)
MILAN, July 28 Italian insurer Generali
will complete the buyout of GPH, an eastern European
joint venture it holds with Czech group PPF, by purchasing the
24 percent stake it does not yet own for 1.235 billion euros as
planned, it said on Monday.
The transaction will be carried out by January 2015, it said
in a statement.
The announcement comes two weeks after Generali said
Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual would buy its Swiss
private bank unit BSI, completing a disposal plan in which it
has sold 3.7 billion euros of non-insurance assets in about 18
months, just shy of its 4 billion euros target.
Generali said last year it would buy out the 49 percent
stake held in GPH from Czech group PPF for 2.5 billion euros in
two stages, increasing its exposure to the fast-growing central
and eastern European region, Generali's fourth-largest market.
It acquired the first 25 percent holding in March 2013,
using cash raised through a 30-year bond, and had said it would
complete the buyout at the end of 2014.
CEO Mario Greco, who took the helm of Europe's third largest
insurer two years ago after the ousting of his predecessor
Giovanni Perissinotto, had said when the deal was first
announced in January 2013 that the group would need no external
resources to fund the second tranche of the transaction.
GPH is a leading insurer on the Central Eastern Europe
market with a leadership position in many of the ten countries
where it currently operates.
(Reporting by Silvia Aloisi, editing by David Evans)