August 27, 2014 / 11:16 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Poland's PZU prepares more takeovers after RSA deal

(Releads with strategy, add CEO comments)

By Adrian Krajewski

WARSAW, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Polish insurer PZU is already planning further acquisitions at home and abroad as it waits for regulators to clear its purchase of most of RSA’s eastern European operations.

The 360 million euro ($475 million) deal, signed earlier this year, will see PZU take control of Lithuania’s biggest insurer, Lietuvos Draudimas, Latvian rival AAS Balta, an Estonian unit of RSA’s Danish insurer Codan Forsikring and Poland’s Link4.

The takeover will consume only a fraction of PZU’s $3.8 billion cash pile and Chief Executive Andrzej Klesyk made clear his intention to move into new business areas.

“We plan to announce our new strategy in the autumn,” PZU Chief Executive Andrzej Klesyk said on Wednesday. “There will be no revolution, but the strategy will include other business lines, healthcare in particular.”

“We’re looking for new takeovers in the medical sector. We are not backing out of foreign takeovers among insurers.”

PZU is too big for regulators to permit further takeovers of Polish insurers. It wants to tackle local rivals, including units of Talanx, AXA, ING and Generali, by pushing beyond its core business.

The group, which has a market value of almost $13 billion, plans to expand in healthcare after buying medical and spa businesses from state-controlled oil refiner PKN Orlen and utility Tauron earlier this year.

PZU posted a larger than expected, 15-percent rise in second-quarter net profit on Wednesday, thanks to higher investment income.

After issuing 500 million euros worth of senior debt last month, the company is in talks with the local financial watchdog over a planned subordinate debt issue. (1 US dollar = 3.1778 Polish zloty) (1 US dollar = 0.7584 euro) (Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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