Zurich to Sell Most French Business to Generali

Zurich Financial Services announced that it has agreed to sell its French life business, including its Eagle Star operations and parts of its non-life operations in the consumer and commercial segments, distributed by agents in France, to Italy’s Assicurazioni Generali SpA.

Calling the move a “realignment,” Zurich said it would concentrate its operations in France on the Non-life corporate segment operated through its business unit Continental Europe Corporate. The company also said it would “put the Non-life business distributed by brokers in the consumer and commercial segments in run-off.”

“An agreement between Zurich and Generali relating to this transaction has been signed,” said the bulletin. “Both parties agreed to keep the price confidential. Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.”

Axel P. Lehmann, ZFS Continental Europe Business Division CEO stated, “The realignment of our activities in France follows a similar transaction in the Netherlands. It is in line with our strategy to exit peripheral businesses and to focus on key markets and core activities with a high potential to generate sustained profitable growth.”

The bulletin noted: “At the end of 2002, the insurance portfolios of Zurich France’s Life operations had gross written premiums, policy fees and deposits of about EUR 185 million [$205 million], while the Non-life operations distributed by agents in the consumer and commercial segments recorded gross written premiums and policy fees of about EUR 128 million [$142 million].”