CGNU Nears Deal w/ Groupama on French Commercial Lines

January 7, 2002

As earlier reported (see IJ Website Dec. 27), CGNU is close to concluding a deal to sell its French commercial lines business, CGU Courtage, to French mutual insurer Groupama.

The transaction highlights the restructuring going on in both companies. CGNU will exit French commercial lines in order to concentrate on personal and small commercial lines in France through its network of tied agents, Abeille Assurance. It’s also committed to increasing its life and pension products business in the U.K. and Europe.

Groupama has restructured its business by selling off non-core operations. Its reinsurance division, Sorema, was acquired by SCOR, France’s largest reinsurer, last May, and it’s currently in the process of disposing of its general insurance units in the U.K.

Acquiring CGU Courtage, with around € 355 million ($320 million) in net written premium, will strengthen Groupama’s brokerage business in France. It’s also concluded an agreement with Société Générale, France’s third largest bank, to offer banking services to its clients, and its health insurance products through SG’s banking network.

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