Groupama to Purchase Aviva’s Spanish P/C Unit for

July 12, 2002

France’s Groupama will acquire Plus Ultra Generales, Aviva’s ( ex-CGNU’s) Spanish p/c operation for €246 million ($240 million).

The acquisition gives the French mutual insurer a 1.4 percent share of the overall market in Spain and will increase its p/c activities from 0.8 percent to 2.7 percent, making it Spain’s 13th largest general insurer.

The companies plan to finalize the transfer by the end of the third quarter. Groupama indicated that it would combine Plus Ultra’s operations with its own unit, Groupama Seguros.

A company spokesman told the French financial newspaper Les Echos that the move was the first important step towards implementing Groupama’s overall strategy of becoming a major player in Europe in the next few years.

It’s also further evidence of an ongoing consolidation within the European Union, as companies seek to expand their markets, and take advantage of the common currency to increase their market share beyond national borders.

For Aviva, selling Plus Ultra further implements its announced strategy of concentrating on life, health and pension services outside of the U.K. It sold its French commercial operations, CGU Courtage, to Groupama in March.

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