Allianz May Acquire Stake in Czech Insurer

December 21, 2000

Germany’s Allianz is in talks with the Czech government concerning the acquisition of its 30 percent holding in the country’s biggest insurance group, Ceska Pojistovna. The move would further strengthen Allianz’ rapidly growing operations in Eastern Europe.

CP has 43 percent of the Czech insurance market. Its majority shareholders, PPF an investment fund based in Prague, and Cespo, a Dutch financial group, have offered the government $77 million for its share.

So far the offer has been rejected, and other proposals, notably Allianz’, are being considered. Allianz already owns a Czech subsidiary, Allianz Pojistovna, which has a market share of around 6 percent, and has been posting steady growth.

Allianz’ expansion strategy into the relatively undeveloped Eastern European insurance markets, has given it a prominent position in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia and Poland.

The company has frequently said that it sees tremendous potential growth possibilities in the area, especially in countries, like the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary, who are expected to join the European union within the next 3-5 years.

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