Vienna Insurance Group completes its entry into the insurance markets of the Baltic region and strengthens its presence in Poland.
I. Market entry into the Baltic markets through the acquisition of Seesam Life Insurance SE
On 18 December 2007 Wiener Städtische Versicherung AG Vienna Insurance Group signed a purchase agreement with the Finnish Suomi Mutual Life Assurance Company for the acquisition of 100 percent of Seesam Life Insurance SE (Seesam).*
"This deal significantly expands the geographic network of the Vienna Insurance Group in Central and Eastern Europe", explains Günter Geyer, CEO of the Vienna Insurance Group, and adds: "As the leading Austrian CEE insurer we possess a high level of integration know-how and practical experience in these markets. With their robust economic development, the three Baltic states open up strong growth prospects for insurance companies."
Seesam Life Insurance SE, with its headquarters in the Estonian capital Tallinn, was founded in 1993. The life insurance company subsequently expanded into the markets of Latvia (1999) and Lithuania (2001).
In 2006 the company achieved a premium volume of EUR 13.6 million in all three Baltic states with a combined population of approximately 7 million, which represents an increase of 26.2 percent in comparison with the previous year. In Latvia and Estonia Seesam ranks an excellent fourth place in the life insurance market and in Lithuania the ninth place. Seesam has ten branches in all three countries and provides services for 45,000 clients with a staff of approximately 200 employees. Besides classical life insurance policies, unit-linked policies and term insurance are also offered.
The enormous potential for growth is made clear by the low insurance penetration (share of life insurance premiums in GDP: Estonia 0.8 percent, Lithuania 0.6 percent, Latvia 0.2 percent) as well as the low insurance density (premiums per capita for life insurance: Estonia approx. USD 94, Lithuania approx. USD 48, Lithuania approx. USD 12) in 2006.
The potential is further illustrated by the market growth in the areas of life insurance for these countries (Estonia 22 percent, Latvia 58 percent, and Lithuania 68 percent). In comparison, in 2006 the 15 EU states had an insurance penetration of 6.2 percent and an insurance density of USD 2,198 in this field of insurance.
II. Expansion of life insurance through the acquisition of FinLife TunZ S.A. in Poland
At the same time Wiener Städtische Versicherung AG Vienna Insurance Group also acquired 100 percent of the shares in FinLife TUnZ S.A. (FinLife) from Suomi Mutual Life Assurance Company.*
"Vienna Insurance Group is already amongst the most prominent insurance groups in Poland, where we rank an excellent fifth place in the area of non-life insurance. The purchase of FinLife enables us to further strengthen our sales network and to make even better use of the market potential in the life insurance area as well", emphasizes Günter Geyer.
Headquartered in Warsaw, FinLife was founded in 1996. FinLife specialises in group insurance and term life insurance, and in 2006 recorded a premium income of approximately EUR 20 million. The company has around 90 employees and 15 branches across the country. FinLife also possesses a well-developed independent sales network and has concluded a number of cooperation agreements in the banking sector.
Vienna Insurance Group already has a presence in Poland, with a total of seven companies. They include Compensa non-life and Compensa life, Benefia non-life and Benefia life, the life insurance company Royal Polska as well as the non-life insurers Cigna and TU PZM. With a population of around 38 million, and thus one of the biggest markets in Central and Eastern Europe, Poland has an insurance penetration of 1.7 percent and an insurance density of approx. USD 151 in the life insurance business.
* subject to approval of authorities
Please note: this is a translation; only the German version of this release is legally binding.