Financial services provider KBC Group has confirmed that it will acquire a 70% stake in Bulgaria's leading non-life and life insurance company DZI Insurance for E185 million. Once the transaction is complete, KBC expects to make a public bid for the remaining 30%.

The acquisition will position KBC as the first Belgian investor in the Bulgarian financial industry, responding quickly to Bulgaria’s entrance into the European Union, which came into effect on January 1, 2007.

The Bulgarian market meets KBC’s central and eastern European expansion criteria, commented Andre Bergen, KBC Group CEO. We will be in a position now to take advantage of Bulgaria’s economic convergence and potential for further penetration of the banking and especially insurance markets.

In addition to the acquisition of DZI Insurance, the deal also includes the purchase of DZI Invest, a securities broker on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange.

The transaction is subject to the approval of the Bulgarian regulatory authorities and KBC intends to finalize the deal as soon as possible.