Battle Shaping Up For Norway’s Storebrand

May 21, 2001

Further consolidation in the Scandinavian insurance market seems set to proceed, but it’s unclear exactly what form it will take. Den Norske Bank launched a takeover bid for Norway’s largest insurer Storebrand last week, but an opposing bid from Finnish insurer Sampo is set to be announced today.

To further complicate matters, Zurich Financial Services announced Friday that it had concluded a partnership arrangement with Den Norske “to offer insurance policies and fund management products to bank customers, with banks winning access to Zurich clients.”

Sampo proposes to concentrate its p/c business in “if”, a joint venture involving Storebrand and Sweden’s Skandia, which is scheduled to make an initial public offering later this year. If successful, Sampo would become “if’s” largest single shareholder. It would also merge Storebrand’s leading 31 percent share of the Norwegian life market with its own life units, and would take over a leading position in the affluent Scandinavian market.

While Den Norske, which is still partially owned by the Norwegian government, can be expected to benefit from its position, Sampo’s proposal would significantly broaden the insurance market in the Nordic region.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.