Business Helvetia buys 70% of Caser for 780 million

Helvetia buys 70% of Caser for 780 million

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Maintain your brand and your directive

Friday,
24
January
2020

10:05

Once the operation is finished, the remaining 30% will remain in the hands of Unicaja (10%), Liberbank (9.99%) and Ibercaja (9.5%)


A hot air balloon with the Helvetia logo in Switzerland.
REUTERS

Helvetiaacquire about 70% ofCaserfor 780 million euros after reaching an agreement with several shareholders for the sale of part or all of its share packages, including Bankia, Liberbank, Caixabank, Abanca and the French insurance company Cova, as announced by the Swiss insurance group.

With this operation, which involves assessing the Spanish insurance company Caser in some1,115 million euros, Helvetia strengthen “an ms” the European business as a second pillar, expand “considerably” the important area of ​​No Life and increase the commercial capacity in Spain.

Once the operation is completed, scheduled for the first half of this year, Helvetia will control 70% of Caser, while the remaining 30% will remain in the hands ofUnicaja (10%), Liberbank (9.99%) and Ibercaja (9.5%).

Helvetia plans to finance two-thirds of Caser’s acquisition with the issuance of hybrid bonds and a third with the issuance of new shares.

This combined financing, as Switzerland has pointed out, allows capital to be managed “efficiently” and contributes to a balanced capital allocation.

On April 24, the general meeting of shareholders of the Swiss decide on the issuance of new shares. Until the capital operations are completed, the acquisition will be financed with the existing liquidity.

After approval of the relevant competition and supervisory authorities, Helvetia plans to complete the operation in the first half of 2020.

Exclusive negotiation

The shareholders Bankia (15%), CaixaBank (11.51%) and Abanca (9.99%) started four weeks ago an exclusive negotiation process with the Swiss insurance company, which Cova joined, with a 20% package . Among the four, 56.5%.

On their side, they have also accepted the offer of Helvetia Ibercaja and Liberbank. They have also sold some minorities such as BBVA (0.2%), Caixa Pollen and Caixa Ontinyent.

Soon, under the same conditions, the sale of Cecabank (1.6%) and Sabadell (1.8%) is planned, according to sources familiar with the operation.

Specifically, Bankia has taken off its 15% in Caser for an amount of 166 million euros, which will have an estimated positive impact on the capital of the group of twelve basic points, as reported by the entity to the National Market Commission of Securities (CNMV). After adjustments and expenses, the capital gain for Bankia will exceed 40 million euros, according to sources familiar with the operation.

For its part, Liberbank has sold 2.23% of Caser for 25.7 million euros, reducing its shareholding to 9.99%.

The brand is maintained

After the operation, both Helvetia Espaa and Caser will continue to operate in the Spanish market with their current brands. They will also remain unchangedmanagement committees and the headquarters of both entities.

Helvetia has stressed that he intends to group his own strengths with Caser’s.

To do this, when the operation is finished, a joint coordination team will be created consisting of members of Helvetia Espaa and Caser.

Your task, as explained by the Swiss firm, based inSeville, consist of coordinating joint activities in the market with the objective of taking advantage of synergies.

“Our business in Spain has evolved in a very positive way in recent years and this transaction will strengthen it further, which in turn substantially increases the importance of our activity in Europe. The two entities complement each other perfectly, even since the point of view of its business culture. In addition, Caser will make a significant contribution to the benefit, “said Helvetia’s CEO for Europe, Markus Gemperle.

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