Austria’s Uniqa Agrees to Buy Units for About $1.1 Billion

(Bloomberg) -- Austria’s Uniqa Insurance Group AG agreed to acquire Axa SA’s operations in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia for about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).

Uniqa will take control of the life and non-life insurance, investment firms, pension funds and service companies of Axa in the countries, according to a statement Friday. Uniqa edged out rival bids from Italy’s Assicurazioni Generali SpA and Vienna Insurance Group AG, Bloomberg News first reported this week.

The deal is part of Uniqa’s plan to expand its presence in existing markets. The transaction will be financed with debt, and is subject to regulatory approval.

Austria’s Uniqa Agrees to Buy Units for About $1.1 Billion

Axa Chief Executive Officer Thomas Buberl is moving to streamline the insurer’s operations by retreating from less profitable markets and pulling back from life insurance.

Shares in both companies were little changed, with the announcement coming after the close of trading. Axa -- Europe’s second largest insurer -- is up 22% over the past 12 months, giving it a market value of about 60 billion euros. Uniqa is up 6.4% over the same period and has a market valuation of 2.7 billion euros.

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