Romanian Commercial Bank sells insurance operations to VIG

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The Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR) and Vienna Insurance Group signed an agreement on the acquisition by VIG (Vienna Insurance Group) of a 88.56% in BCR Insurance (including shares held by Financiara stock company, a branch of BCR) and of a 88.47% stake in BCR Life Insurance, announced on September 16 spokesperson for the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR) Corneliu Cojocaru.
 
‘‘Following the announcement referring to the agreement between Erste Group and Vienna Insurance Group (VIG), the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR) initiated together with VIG the negotiations referring to the terms of the transaction (the agreement of acquisition of shares, price and distribution agreement) and to the sale of shares held in the two insurance companies: BCR Insurance and BCR Life Insurance.
 
The talks between the two companies were finalised through the signing on Monday of an agreement on the acquisition by Vienna Insurance Group of 88.56% of BCR Insurance (including shares held by Financiara stock company, a subsidiary of BCR) and of 88.47% in BCR Life insurance,’’ said BCR in a release.
 
The Romanian Commercial Bank and the Vienna Insurance Group signed a 15-year cooperation agreement as regards the distribution in Romania. The cooperation focuses on the distribution of the products of each of the partners thorough the other partner’s network.
 
Due to the tight cooperation between companies – members of Vienna Insurance Group and the BCR Group in Romania, BCR Insurance and BCR Life Insurance – will maintain the name as long as Vienna Insurance Group will hold a market share of 50% in them and as long as the distribution agreement will be valid. Besides, the offices of BCR Insurance and BCR Life Insurance will continue to work within BCR branches until the two sides will decide otherwise.
 
The overall sum of the deal amounts to about 244 million euros. 5% in BCR Life insurance will remain in BCR’s portfolio. Minority shareholders hold the remainder of shares. The finalization of the deal is expected throughout the next weeks after the approval of the authorities in the fields of competition and of the Romanian insurance market’s regulators.
BCR Life Insurance is the third ranked company in the ranking of life insurance companies with a market share of 7.44%. In the first 6 months of 2008, the company reported a total of subscribed premiums worth 63.3 million RON (17.2 million euros).
 
BCR Insurance is the fifth ranked company in the classification of insurance non-specific companies in Romania with a market share of 7.14%. In the first 6 months of 2008, the company reported a total of subscribed premiums worth 255.2 million RON (69.3 million euros).
 
The Romanian Commercial Bank, member of Erste Group, is an universal bank targeting retail and corporate customers alike. BCR is the most important banking institution in Romania, managing assets worth over 17.5 billion euros. BCR is Romania’s most valuable financial brand. The bank provides a wide range of products and services for the population, having at present 598 retail units (for population and micro-enterprises) opened nationwide in most towns with over 10,000 inhabitants.
 
Corporate customers benefit from BCR services through 52 corporate business centres devoted mainly to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and big companies. The bank provides customers, individuals and corporations alike, a complex offer of products and banking services, including services of Internet banking, phone-banking and e-commerce. BCR issues 23 types of credit and debit cards and has the biggest network of ATMs and POS terminals – over 1,600 ATMs and over 14,000 POS terminals at traders.
 
BCR presents itself as Romania’s most important financial group, running activities in Romania and abroad – through branches and subsidiaries, with significant presence, through its relevant companies, on the markets of leasing, in the fields of assets’ management, on the market of capital, private pensions, housing banks and insurance.
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