(Adds detail, context, Unipol CEO quote)
MILAN, March 15 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
"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)