Baloise strengthens position in Belgian market

Basel, April 15, 2019. The Baloise Group is acquiring the Belgian insurer Fidea NV for EUR 480 million, strengthening its position in the Belgian non-life and life insurance market. The deal will increase Baloise’s share of the attractive non-life business in Belgium by 1.7 percentage points to 8.5 per cent, taking it a step closer to becoming one of the top four non-life insurers in the Belgian market. In the life business, the acquisition will increase market share by 0.7 percentage points to 4.2 per cent.

Baloise is acquiring the Belgian multi-sector insurer Fidea NV from the Chinese Anbang Insurance Group for EUR 480 million, thereby significantly strengthening its position in the Belgian market. The acquisition also diversifies the non-life portfolio within the Group. With a 37 per cent share of the total volume, the Belgian non-life business is now roughly the same size as that of the Swiss business unit.

Fidea reported premiums of CHF 351.6 million for 2018, more than two thirds of which came from the attractive non-life business. In keeping with the Baloise business strategy, Fidea’s non-life business mainly concentrates on the growth segments in the retail customers business and on business with small and medium-sized companies. Fidea is based in Antwerp and employs around 360 staff, who will transfer to Baloise under the deal.

Group CEO Gert De Winter is delighted: “The acquisition of Fidea fits perfectly with our Simply Safe strategy, both in terms of strengthening the core business in our focus markets and the highly innovative and experimental approach to digitalisation. The acquisition and resulting synergies will provide a long-term boost to our growth potential and earnings power and give us additional market share in the attractive Belgian market.”

Henk Janssen, CEO of Baloise Insurance in Belgium adds, “I am pleased that this acquisition – our third in Belgium in the last ten years – will enable us to add market share and expand the existing sales network. Baloise Insurance is a preferred partner of customers and brokers. Together with our new colleagues, we will be able to serve the market even more effectively and win over even more customers and partners for our services.”

In Belgium, the Baloise Group operates under the ‘Baloise Insurance’ brand. It offers a full range of insurance services for individuals and for small and medium-sized firms. Policies are sold through a country-wide network of brokers. In 2018, Baloise in Belgium generated profit before borrowing costs and taxes (EBIT) of CHF 199.0 from a volume of business that amounted to CHF 1,722.3 million. Including Fidea, Baloise will employ around 1,600 staff in Belgium.

The transaction has yet to be approved by the relevant competition and regulatory authorities and is expected to be completed during the second half of this year.

Contact

Portrait Roberto Brunazzi

Roberto Brunazzi

Head of Media Relations

Phone

+41 58 285 82 14

Email

media.relations@baloise.com
Key figures for 2018 for
comparison (CHF million)
Baloise Insurance
Belgium
Fidea NV*
Volume of premiums,
total
1,722.3 351.6
Volume of premiums,
non-life business
1,099.6 247.0
Volume of premiums,
life business
622.7 104.6
Profit before
borrowing costs and
taxes
199.0 -8.6**
Combined ratio, net 92.3% 95.8%

 

*2018 key figures for Fidea NV are calculated on the basis of local accounting standards at an average exchange rate of €1= CHF 1.16.

**Fidea's EBIT 2018 is affected by negative one-offs. The expected earnings contribution after integration is approx. CHF 35 million.

The Baloise Group is more than just a traditional insurance company. The changing security, safety and service needs of society in the digital age lie at the heart of its business activities. The 7,200 or so employees of Baloise therefore focus on the wishes of their customers. The best possible customer service, combined with innovative products and services, makes Baloise the first choice for people who want to feel ‘simply safe’. Located at the heart of Europe, with its head office in Basel, the Baloise Group is a provider of prevention, pension, assistance and insurance solutions. Its core markets are Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. In Switzerland, with Baloise Bank SoBa, the Group also operates as a specialised financial services provider, offering a combination of insurance and banking services. The Group offers innovative pension products to retail customers throughout Europe from its competence centre in Luxembourg. Bâloise Holding Ltd shares are listed in the main segment of the SIX Swiss Exchange.

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