In a bid to continue focusing on its niche business strategy in Europe, Swiss insurer Nationale Suisse has announced that it is selling its French subsidiary Nationale Suisse Assurances SA to AXA France Assurance SAS.

As part of its European business strategy, Nationale Suisse will be concentrating primarily on profitable niche businesses. As its French subsidiary does not conform to this model, its life business was sold in 2006 and this second transaction will see Nationale Suisse exit the French non-life market.

The divested French subsidiary is a multi-line insurer with a strong focus on motor insurance, which accounts for just over 50% of its premiums. It wrote premium volume of E101.5 million in 2006 and currently has a workforce of 125 people.

Both Nationale Suisse and AXA have agreed not to disclose details of the transaction. They expect to receive the approval of the supervisory authorities during the course of the next few months, and to conclude the transaction by the end of 2007.