AXA has signed an agreement with RESO Garantia's shareholders to acquire a 36.7% stake in the company for a total cash consideration of E810 million.

As part of the proposed agreement, AXA will have the option to buy out the remaining stake through calls exercisable in 2010 and 2011. AXA and RESO’s shareholders have also agreed to form a joint venture to develop an operation on Russia’s emerging life & savings market. This transaction is expected to be completed during the first half of 2008.

Under the terms of the agreement, RESO’s current management team will continue to run the company and roll-out its successful strategy. AXA will have management control of the life joint venture.

Henri de Castries, chairman of the AXA management board, said: RESO is a high quality company, with a strong management team and a leading competitive position based on solid and healthy fundamentals. This strategic investment is an excellent opportunity for AXA to enter the Russian insurance market, which offers strong growth prospects and a favorable business environment. With this acquisition, AXA will further reinforce its growth profile and increase its exposure to emerging insurance markets.