BULGARIA: Groupama to acquire OTP's Express Life Insurance

OTP's Express Life Insurance of Bulgaria agreed to sell 100% of shares to Groupama's subsidiary in Bulgaria, strengthening Groupama's position in the local market.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the final quarter of 2019. The merging process of the two companies is planned to be fully accomplished by September 2020.

Groupama, part of the French insurance group "Groupama Assurances Mutuelles", has operated in the Bulgarian insurance market since 2008. By the end of 2018, Groupama Bulgaria wrote a total of EUR 5.4 million life insurance premiums and EUR 12.3 million non-life premiums, according to The Financial Supervision Commission of Bulgaria (FSC) figures.

Express Life Insurance was founded by French Societe Generale, operating under the French group's brand, but after being acquired by Hungarian OTP in January 2019, it was renamed "Express Life Insurance", becoming part of the OTP group.

Groupama expects the transaction to double its share in the local market and to make Groupama no. 3 in credit insurance and no. 5 in the accident segment.

As of December 31st 2018 (and Q1 of 2019 as well), Groupama Life Insurance held the 8th place in the Bulgarian life insurance sector, while Express Life Insurance was the 7th company by GWP volume.

The merger between the two companies will further strengthen their position in the life insurance market, getting them closer to the 6th place in the life sector, currently held by GRAWE Bulgaria Life Insurance.

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