Generali in Early Talks to Buy Credit Agricole Unit La Medicale
(Bloomberg) -- Assicurazioni Generali SpA is in early talks on a possible takeover of Credit Agricole subsidiary La Medicale, as part of plans to expand in European non-life and health insurance businesses, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The firm, which offers insurance products to healthcare professionals, may be valued at about 400 million euros ($450 million) the people said, asking not to be identified as the plans aren’t public. Contacts between Generali and Agricole are at a preliminary stage and there’s no certainty a transaction will happen, the people said.
A spokesman for Generali declined to comment, as did a representative for Credit Agricole.
Expansion in insurance and asset-management is one of the pillars of Chief Executive Officer Philippe Donnet’s strategy, as mergers and acquisitions start to reshape the industry. Since he took the helm in 2016, Donnet has strengthened the firm’s finances, cut costs and expanded into more lucrative product areas while cementing Generali’s presence in its home market by taking over smaller rival Societa Cattolica di Assicurazioni.
The shares have gained more than 60% since Donnet presented his first business plan in November 2016, compared with a 30% increase at Allianz and 15% at Axa SA.
Generali has about 1 billion euros cash left over for possible acquisitions, Chief Financial Officer Cristiano Borean said earlier this month. The insurer, which has already reached most of its full year targets, is set to present a new strategy on Dec. 15.
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