Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group announced that its subsidiary, Liberty International, has signed an agreement to acquire Winterthur’s Portuguese business units and branch offices, including its subsidiary companies Companhia Europeia de Seguros and Winterthur Pensoes. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“This acquisition will be Liberty Mutual’s entry into Portugal and the company plans to write both life and non-life personal coverage with an emphasis on auto and workers compensation,” said the announcement.” It added that the acquisition of the units remains subject to approval by authorities, but expects the transaction to be completed in early 2003.
The acquisition of Winterthur’s Portuguese units will make Liberty Mutual the 9th largest non-life insurer In Portugal with an approximate market share of 3.6 percent. Winterthur, a subsidiary of Credit Suisse Group, posted 127 million Euros (The Euro is essentially at parity with the dollar) in gross non-life premiums and 45 million Euros in gross life premiums. Winterthur Pensoes managed 13 million Euros in funds.
“This acquisition builds on our competitive base in Southern Europe by providing us with an excellent platform on which to grow in the Portuguese market,” stated Edmund F. Kelly, Chairman, President and CEO of Liberty Mutual Group. “We are delighted to add the product portfolio, distribution channels and extensive market knowledge of Winterthur’s units in Portugal to our existing operations.”
“This latest acquisition will significantly expand Liberty Mutual Group’s operations in Southern Europe and complements Liberty International’s 2001 acquisitions of Hartford Seguros and Royal & Sun Alliance Spain,” said the bulletin.
Liberty International has operations in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. It’s seen premiums from its foreign operations for insurance and reinsurance products and services grow from $190 million in 1994 to $3.1 billion in 2002.