Allianz Seeks Swiss Minority Shares as Part of Rebranding Campaign

May 17, 2001

Germany’s Allianz AG offered the minority shareholders of its Swiss subsidiary Berner Versicherung SwFrs 750 ($430) per share as part of its initiative to rebrand its three Swiss companies under the banner “Allianz Suisse.”

Allianz currently holds 541,205 registered shares in Berner, approximately 60 percent of the total. Its offer represents a 17.4 percent premium over yesterday’s closing price. In addition Allianz announced that “a dividend of 22 CHF ($12.62) will be paid out to shareholders immediately prior to implementing the bid.”

“The Allianz Group ranks fifth with premium income amounting to 3.32 billion francs {$1.9 billion} during fiscal 2000 on the Swiss insurance market,” said the announcement. “The aim is to bring the three local companies – Allianz (Schweiz), Berner and ELVIA – under the integrated brand name ‘Allianz Suisse.’ This step continues the strategy of integration measures that have already been implemented. The three Allianz Group companies have been organized with a joint management structure since October 1999.”

The importance of “branding” was apparent to any of the estimated 25 million viewers who watched the UEFA cup final on Wednesday night between Liverpool and Spain’s C.D. Alaves. The blue and white banners which ringed the playing field in the stadium in Dortmund, Germany didn’t belong to Allianz, but to its French rival AXA. They were constantly in evidence throughout every minute of a classic soccer match, won by Liverpool in overtime by the score of 5 to 4.

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