Insurance

The CEO of Generali Has €10 Billion in Strategic Wishlist Deals

The CEO of Generali Has €10 Billion in Strategic Wishlist Deals

As part of the insurer’s expansion strategies, Assicurazioni Generali SpA is examining a number of possible takeover candidates, some of which are valued at over €10 billion ($10.9 billion), according to individuals familiar with the situation.

The sources, who asked to remain anonymous in order to disclose sensitive information, stated that the Italian insurer would only entertain amicable agreements and that over six companies, including both major players like Aviva Plc and smaller competitors like Uniqa Insurance Group, are on its wish list. For example, the largest insurance company in Italy has investigated the potential benefits of a partnership with NN Group NV, a €11 billion-market-cap Dutch insurer.

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The people said that Generali, which is valued at over €35 billion on the market, would only consider targets that were as much as half the value of its own shares. According to the people, it had high-level, unofficial contacts with a few possible targets, but they didn’t result in formal discussions, and no active negotiations are presently underway.

Generali’s spokesperson declined to comment.

Philippe Donnet, the company’s chief executive officer, has always struck a balance between growth investments and shareholder rewards. He is anticipated to reveal a new set of financial targets before the year is over.

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Since taking over in 2016, he has made Generali’s finances stronger, reduced expenses, and expanded into more lucrative product categories. Through a series of acquisitions, he has also solidified the company’s position both domestically and internationally.

The US insurer Liberty Mutual Holding Co. agreed to sell the company a collection of European operations last year for €2.3 billion, together with the Cathay Life arm Conning Holdings Ltd.

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The current takeover strategy is centered on Generali’s primary European markets and primarily evaluates share-based acquisitions as opposed to cash transactions. According to the persons, it is also keeping an eye on Aegon Ltd., Ageas SA, Baloise Holding AG, Ergo Group, Mapfre SA, and Vienna Insurance Group AG.

Donnet, 63, stated this week that as part of his upcoming strategic plan, Generali may contemplate an annual share repurchase and an increase in dividends. In the years 2022–2024, the CEO promised to distribute as much as €5.6 billion in dividends to shareholders.

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