"SAVA Re is continuously seeking growth opportunities, also through acquisitions. Last year, one such opportunity presented itself in Serbia, when ENERGOPROJEKT Holding offered for sale 92.94% of the insurer ENERGOPROJEKT GARANT."
Established in 1992, ENERGOPROJEKT GARANT is a small Serbian insurer specialising in construction and liability insurance. SAVA Re estimated that taking over the insurer would allow it to further diversify its Serbian non-life insurance portfolio (away from motor business).
SAVA Re and ENERGOPROJEKT Holding signed a sales contract for 92.94% of the insurer ENERGOPROJEKT GARANT last November, with the contract being subject to obtaining all required approvals.
On 2 March 2018, SAVA Re obtained approval from Serbia's central bank, as well as from other regulators to purchase the above stake in the target.
Thus, on 9 March 2018, a block trade was announced on the Belgrade stock exchange for 146,155 shares representing 92.84% of the share capital of ENERGOPROJEKT GARANT - SAVA Re becoming the formal owner of these shares "as soon as they are transferred to its account with the local securities clearing company."
After the acquisition of this majority stake and subsequent steps towards attaining sole ownership, "SAVA Re intends to merge the target with its existing subsidiary, the Serbian non-life insurer SAVA Nezivotno, and then optimise the subsidiary's capital structure."
According to the most recent figures presented on the website of the National Bank of Serbia (the supervisory authority and regulator of the local insurance market), at the end of 3Q2017 the 17th active local insurers generated aggregate GWP of about EUR 595 million.
ENERGOPROJEKT GARANT's market share was 0.15% (GWP EUR 0.9 million), being the smallest insurance company in the market.
At the same time, the two SAVA Re subsidiaries, the life insurer SAVA Zivotno and the non-life unit SAVA Nezivotno generated GWP of EUR 1.25 million and EUR 12.8 million respectively.
"SAVA Re's acquisition of this stake in the Serbian insurer is a further step towards implementing its strategy of strengthening its position in the markets where it is present."