April 18, 2018 / 5:55 PM / 3 months ago

Generali to sell Belgium business for 540 million euros

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s biggest insurer Generali (GASI.MI) has agreed to sell its Belgian operations to Bermuda-based Athora Holding for 540 million euros ($668.5 million) as part of its plans to shrink its global business and shore up capital.

FILE PHOTO: A banner with a logo of Generali insurance is seen outside one of its branch offices in Telfs, Austria, November 1, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

The deal will generate a capital gain of about 150 million euros and is expected to be wrapped up in the second half of the year.

Europe’s No. 3 insurer, present in more than 60 countries, is looking to sell businesses in about a dozen countries.

It has already announced the sale of its businesses in Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Holland and Ireland.

“The total value of the deals concluded and those already announced... is over 1.1 billion euros, exceeding our initial target of 1 billion euros,” said Frederic de Courtois, head of the group’s Global Business Lines & International.

The group, headed by Frenchman Philippe Donnet, is also considering options on its 40 billion euro German life portfolio.

The deal with Athora will boost the insurer’s solvency ratio - a measure of financial strength - by 2.6 percentage points, Generali said.

Last year Generali Belgium, mainly focused on life insurance, accounted for just 22 million euros of the group’s overall net profit of 2.11 billion euros.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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