Generali Holding Vienna AG

euro adhoc: Generali Holding Vienna AG
Mergers - Acquisitions - Takeovers / Generali strengthens presence in Eastern Europe with entry in Serbia

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The Generali Group strengthens presence in Eastern Europe with entry in Serbia

Generali reaches preliminary agreement for controlling stake in Delta Osiguranje, the country's leading private insurance company.

The Generali Group, through Generali Holding Vienna, signed in Serbia a preliminary agreement with the Delta group, operating in the tertiary and financial sectors, for the acquisition of a majority shareholding in the insurance company Delta Osiguranje, which is the Serbian market's leading private operator as well as the third largest in absolute terms.  The preliminary agreement initially foresees the acquisition of 50% + 1 of the shares of the insurance company.

"The operation - Generali CEO Sergio Balbinot said - is in line with the Group's strategy aimed at developing and strengthening its presence in eastern Europe and will mark its entry in the Serbian market, widening the number of countries in which the Group operates".  "In particular, the Generali Group will be the first among the leading international players to begin operations in Serbia - Mr Balbinot added - a market that, thanks also to the recent implementation of modern and advanced regulations, offers a high growth potential as well as a still low insurance penetration, especially in the life sector".

Generali currently holds a leading position in eastern Europe with a client-base of approximately 3.3 million, operating with a historically known trademark in seven countries (Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland and Croatia). In 2004, Generali posted in these countries a premium income of EUR 794.4 million (+26.2%), recording growth rates of 30.8% in the life and health sectors and 24.3% in the non-life, trebling its profit to EUR 22.6 million. In 2005, the Group aims to increase its market shares in all the countries of the area, including those where the Group is already market leader. Activities in these markets are managed through Generali Holding Vienna.

Set up in 1998, Delta Osiguranje initially focused on non-life business, where it currently generates approximately 85% of its insurance portfolio. It started to market life products in 2001 and has recently entered the Pension Fund business, thereby completing its product range. Delta Osiguranje is currently Serbia's largest private insurance company, closing 2004 with a premium income of EUR 16 million. Delta is the fastest growing company on the market. Growth rates in the first-half of 2005 have been good, allowing the company to post a premium income amounting to that recorded for the entire year in 2004. The Company can rely on an own  distribution channel.

Serbia, with a population of approximately 7.5 million, is undergoing a phase of strong economic development. The Serbian insurance market generated in 2004 a premium income of over EUR 370 million, with an insurance penetration that was very low (2004 premiums/GDP ratio of 2.2%) if compared to those recorded by other eastern European markets, enabling to foresee interesting growth rates in the coming years.

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ots Originaltext: Generali Holding Vienna AG
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Further inquiry note:
Generali  Holding Vienna AG
Josef Hlinka
Tel.: (++43-1) 534 01-1375
Fax: (++43-1) 534 01-1593

Branche: Insurance
ISIN:      AT0000661350
WKN:        066135
Börsen:    Berliner Wertpapierbörse
                Hamburger Wertpapierbörse
                Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse
                Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse
                Bayerische Börse
                Wiener Börse AG

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