Italy’s largest carrier, Generali, is buying Liberty Seguros, which operates in Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Northern Ireland, part of the Liberty Mutual group.
Italian insurer Generali has announced it is to acquire a Spanish rival, Liberty Seguros, from Liberty Mutual, subject to regulatory approvals.
The €2.3bn acquisition will add Liberty’s business in Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Northern Ireland to Italian carrier Generali’s books.
Liberty Seguros will contribute more than €1.2bn of predominantly property and casualty (P&C) lines of premiums.
Commenting on the deal, Moody’s vice president Christian Badorff, said: “With a total consideration of €2.3bn, the acquisition is one of the largest in Generali’s recent history and is fully in line with Generali’s strategic ambitions as it strengthens the group’s position in Spain and Portugal and further shifts the group’s earnings base to non-life underwriting results.”
The deal makes Generali the fourth largest P&C carrier in Spain, second ranked in Portugal, and a new entrant into Irish and Northern Ireland markets.
Philippe Donnet, CEO of Generali Group, said: “Thanks to the acquisition of Liberty Seguros we are accelerating the implementation of our ’Lifetime Partner 24: Driving Growth’ strategy, taking advantage of a unique opportunity that will deliver sustainable growth, strengthen our leadership position in Europe, and boost P&C growth.
“Generali is acquiring a profitable insurance business in three growing European markets with very attractive characteristics, that will create significant long-term value for all stakeholders. Thanks to this transaction, Generali is better placed than ever to be the lifetime partner of customers throughout Europe,” Donnet added.
Generali described Liberty Seguros as a primarily P&C focused company, benefitting from a growing motor business and well-diversified product mix with over €1.2bn premium in 2022, approximately 1,700 employees and 5,600 intermediaries across the three markets. It operates through agents, brokers and direct channels, as well as bancassurance agreements and partnerships.
Jaime Anchústegui Melgarejo, CEO international of Generali, said: “This transaction underlines the Group’s commitment to Spain and Portugal, while strengthening our European footprint, as we enter Ireland with an important market share.
“The complementary, profitable and diversified nature of the business will also enable us to expand our agents and broker network and gain new operating expertise in the direct business,” he added.
The transaction is expected to generate additional economies of scale throughout Generali. The acquisition of Liberty Seguros’ digital distribution capabilities also represents a step forward for the group’s plans focused on multi-country direct channels.
The price tag for the transaction includes all excess capital, subject to customary closing adjustments.
The estimated impact on Generali’s solvency ratio, for regulatory capital purposes, is approximately minus 9.7 percentage points.
Liberty Seguros had a solvency ratio in excess of 330% as of 31 December 2022.
Badorff said: “Including the latest smaller acquisitions, Generali has now made full use of its budget initially allocated for potential M&A activities to support inorganic growth in its 2022-24 strategic cycle. The acquisition will have a only moderate negative impact on the Group’s very strong Solvency.”