The Baloise Group, a Switzerland-based provider of insurance and pension solutions, is set to acquire the Belgium-based insurance firms Nateus and Nateus Life from Ethias.

Both, Nateus and Nateus Life operate in the Belgian market under the brand name Nateus, with a workforce of nearly 450 employees.

Nateus is active on the Belgian non-life and Nateus Life on the Belgian life market and they sell their products exclusively via brokers, with a particular focus on private customers.

In 2009, Nateus and Nateus Life together posted a premium volume of EUR342m, of which 53% derive from life insurances.

Baloise said that the final purchase price will be defined upon closing of the transaction.

Baloise Group CEO Martin Strobel said that by acquiring Nateus Baloise expand significantly the position in Belgium. Nateus is an important building block to further increase growth and earning power of Baloise.

The transaction is subject to approval and is expected to be closed in the second half of this year.

The Swiss group has been active in Belgium with its subsidiaries Mercator Verzekeringen and Avero Schadeverzekering, offering insurance and pension solutions for private customers as well as for small and medium enterprises.