Berkshire Hathaway and Munich Re to buy joint control of London-based aviation underwriter

The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control of the Global Aerospace Underwriting Managers (GAUM) by Berkshire Hathaway and Munich Re.

The commission concluded that the operation would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area, under the EU Merger Regulation.

GAUM provides management services, including underwriting, claims and other services, to an aerospace insurance underwriting pool called the "Global Pool" and also to third parties. The "Global Pool" comprises the insurers who will assume the risks written by GAUM during the relevant financial years.

The parties' activities overlap with respect to the provision of underwriting and management services in the field of aerospace insurance as well as in reinsurance and insurance.

Although the three parties together hold a significant share of the market for the provision of underwriting and management services, the commission's investigation found that after the transaction they will continue to face sufficient competitive constraints from both current and potential suppliers. The Commission's market investigation also found that it should not be difficult for an integrated insurer who currently provides these services in-house to enter the outsourcing market if it had an incentive to do so.

Concerning the insurance and reinsurance markets, the market investigation confirmed that a significant number of strong international players are active on these markets, such as ACE, AIG, Allianz, La Reunion Aerienne and Swiss Re and that the proposed transaction would not adversely affect these markets.