Bulgaria: KBC completes acquisition of MetLife's 40% stake in UBB-MetLife joint venture

Belgian financial group KBC said it has completed the acquisition, through its Bulgarian subsidiary DZI Insurance, of MetLife's 40% stake in UBB-MetLife Life Insurance Company, a life insurance joint venture between United Bulgarian Bank (UBB) and MetLife (UBB-MetLife).

The deal was announced on 29 December 2017 and received regulatory approval on 9 March 2018.

Earlier in 2017, as part of KBC's acquisition of UBB and Interlease, KBC through UBB acquired 60% of UBB-MetLife.

As a result of this acquisition, DZI and UBB-MetLife's combined share of the Bulgarian life insurance market will be 21%.

Commenting on the deal, KBC Group CEO Johan THIJS said: "Acquiring the remaining stake in the UBB-MetLife joint venture confirms our position as a strong, local market player that is able to offer a full range of bank-insurance products to our Bulgarian customers in an omni-channel environment. It will undoubtedly help in making UBB and DZI a genuine reference bank-insurance group in Bulgaria, which will ultimately benefit its customers, employees and all other stakeholders."

Following this deal, KBC will be able to distribute DZI life and non-life products through UBB's bank branches, thus enabling it to fully roll out its bank-insurance approach in Bulgaria, one of KBC's core markets.

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