US financial services-focused firm JC Flowers has acquired Fidea, a subsidiary of European banking giant KBC, for €244m.
Fidea offers both life and non-life insurance products to private customers, the self-employed and companies. It sells its policies through independent insurance brokers and through Centea’s and Crédit Agricole’s network of agents.
KBC operates in Flanders and Brussels through a network of 736 bank branches, 19 private banking branches, 13 corporate branches and 513 insurance agencies. The deal, which includes a €22.6m pre-completion dividend, will free up around €100mm in capital for KBC, primarily by reducing risk-weighted assets by €1.8bn.
“We look forward to helping Fidea chart a new course for the company outside of KBC Group, and we are eager to get started right away to help continue the growth of Fidea as an independent company,” said J Christopher Flowers, chairman of JC Flowers.
“We believe that our deep experience in financial services, including most importantly, owning and operating insurance companies, will enable us to support Fidea to continue its excellent work providing its customers and brokers with leading insurance products,” he added.
JC Flowers has recently made a number of investments in the European insurance market. The firm is reportedly one of five bidders which could snap up Irish Life Insurance, the beleaguered insurance arm of Irish Life and Permanent.
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