The Dutch insurer is undertaking the sale to simplify its footprint and strengthen its balance sheet
Aegon has signed a deal to sell its operations in Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Turkey for €830m to Austria-based Vienna Insurance Group, Wiener Versicherung Gruppe (VIG).
Under the deal, the Austrian group will acquire Aegon’s insurance companies, pension funds, asset management and service companies in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. The entities have a premium volume of nearly €600m.
Also, part of the sale by the Dutch insurer is a managed pension fund volume of about €5bn.
Vienna Insurance Group will be adding a customer base of 4.5 million customers in total through the acquisition.
Aegon CEO Lard Friese said: “This transaction will simplify Aegon’s footprint and strengthen our balance sheet.
“We are sharpening our strategic focus and are concentrating on those countries and business lines where Aegon can create most value.”
The divested business had total net underlying earnings of €54m in 2019 and have a total workforce of nearly 1,650 employees.
Aegon said that the proceeds from the sale will increase its financial flexibility to implement its strategic priorities such as deleveraging.
Through the combination of its Hungarian insurance subsidiary UNION Biztosító with that of Aegon, Vienna Insurance Group expects to boost its current market share from 8% to more than 19% in the country.
In Turkey, the deal with Aegon enables the Austrian insurance group’s expansion into the life insurance business. Currently, VIG is operating in Turkey through a non-life insurance company called Ray Sigorta.
Vienna Insurance Group CEO Elisabeth Stadler said: “The portfolios of the companies included in the scope of the transaction perfectly complement our existing units and strengthen our diversification in these countries. In Hungary, we are making the leap to the top.
“This will make us – as in Austria – the market leader in all our immediate eastern neighbouring countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary).
“In Turkey, we succeeded in entering the life insurance market and in Poland, Romania and Hungary we can significantly expand our potential in the pension fund business.”
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory and competition approvals, is expected to close in the second half of next year.