MILAN Jan 8 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
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
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)