November 23, 2015 / 1:31 PM / 4 years ago

Munich Re Italian insurance units sold to Cinven

* Ergo Italy units sold to Cinven for undisclosed price

* Cinven says plans to acquire, consolidate Italy insurance

FRANKFURT, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Munich Re’s insurance unit Ergo has agreed to sell life and property-casualty businesses in Italy to British private equity investor Cinven.

Ergo said on Monday it was selling Ergo Previdenza and Ergo Assicurazioni, with combined premiums of 360 million euros ($383 million), as well as agents network Ergo Italia Direct Network and service business Ergo Italia Business Solutions, for an undisclosed sum.

Cinven said separately it was focusing on consolidation opportunities in the Italian insurance market and that it planned to grow the Ergo business organically and through acquisition in the bancassurance channel.

The companies sold ranked No. 29 in life insurance and No. 30 in property-casualty in the Italian market, Ergo said in a statement.

“The sale is a further step in Ergo’s reduction of traditional life insurance business with guaranteed products,” the insurer said.

European regulators have been discouraging insurers from offering life insurance savings products with guaranteed interest rates, forcing them to bump up reserves to cover the cost of those liabilities and prompting a number of insurers to exit that product segment.

An Ergo spokesman declined to say if further sales were under consideration but said Ergo was constantly reviewing its position. Outside Germany, the group is focused on growth in central and eastern Europe, China and India, he said.

Ergo is still present in Italy with DAS legal insurance, a 50/50 joint venture with Generali, which had premiums of 61 million euros in 2014, and ERV travel insurance, which had premiums of less than 10 million euros.

$1 = 0.9405 euros Reporting by Jonathan Gould; Editing by Mark Potter

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