Italian insurance provider Unipol Group has confirmed that it has signed an agreement to purchase up to a 19% stake in ING Insurance from Belgian insurance group P&V Assurance, for a total consideration of E150 million.

Under the terms of the transaction, Unipol Assicurazioni will be entitled to some rights with respect to corporate governance and, as a protection of the investment made, the group will have the option to sell the stake back to P&V Assurance after five years from the acquisition date.

The Italian insurer also revealed that further minority stakes will be acquired by MACIF Societe d’Assurance Mutuelle and MAIF Societe d’Assurance Mutuelle, both partners operating in the French market.

ING Insurance is part of ING Group and is engaged in non-life and life business, primarily through brokers. At the end of 2006, the group recorded a premium income of E699 million.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of September 2007, subject to obtaining regulatory approval.