AXA announced it has entered into an agreement to sell its Belgian banking operations, AXA Bank Belgium, to Crelan Bank for cash and Crelan’s loan insurance business.
In addition, AXA and Crelan have also agreed to a long-term P/C and protection insurance distribution partnership, which extends the existing relationship between AXA Bank Belgium and AXA.
And, finally, AXA is buying a minority equity stake in Crelan and AXA Bank Belgium.
Details of the deal include:
- AXA will sell 100% of AXA Bank Belgium to Crelan for a total consideration of €620 million (US$689.5 million). This is composed of a total cash consideration of €540 million ($600.5 million) and the transfer to AXA Belgium of 100% of Crelan Insurance, valued at €80 million ($89 million). Crelan Insurance, which is Crelan’s insurance company, provides protection insurance linked to loans originated by Crelan.
- AXA will take a 9.9% minority equity stake in Crelan NV* and AXA Bank Belgium, investing a total of €90 million ($100.1 million), which will be fully financed by the purchase by Crelan, for €90 million, of the contingent convertible bonds previously issued by AXA Bank Belgium to AXA Group.
“This transaction is another important step in the execution of our Ambition 2020 strategy, as we concentrate on businesses with critical scale and continue to simplify our business profile,” said Thomas Buberl, chief executive officer of AXA, in a statement.
“We are extremely pleased to maintain our strong historical links through a continued partnership with AXA Bank Belgium, a key factor in this transaction, and to extend this partnership to Crelan’s network,” he added. “Combining this with the transfer of Crelan’s insurance business to AXA, our leadership position in our preferred segments in Belgium will be further reinforced.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals, and is expected to be finalized in the second quarter of 2020.
About Crelan Bank
Crelan is a cooperative bank which is directly owned by its clients via CrelanCo. In 2018, Crelan, including its subsidiary Europabank, was the seventh largest bank in Belgium by assets (€20.4 billion) and had €16.7 billion of loans. The bank offers both retail and SME commercial banking services to approximately 920,000 customers via 633 branches, where the bank’s agents also sell both P&C and life & saving products.
About Crelan Insurance
Crelan Insurance is the insurance company of Crelan, providing protection insurance to Crelan’s customers on mortgages, professional and consumer loans. In 2018, the company generated €28 million ($31.1 million) of gross written premium (GWP), of which 92% comes from mortgage insurance. The company’s 2018 net income amounted to €5.5 million ($6.1 million).
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