Austria's Uniqa could sell the 27% stake in Astra Asigurari starting with next year, manager says

Publish date: 05-11-2008
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The Austrian group Uniqa said it does not rule out the possibility to sell its participation of 27 percent in the share capital of Romanian insurer Astra Asigurari, but not this year, board member of Uniqa Group Austria, Andreas Brandstetter, announced.

The company is currently seeking to expand business and targets small companies in the Balkans.

Uniqa announced this morning it canceled the takeover of Astra after negotiations failed on the price for the remaining stock. Consequently, Uniqa will not be actively involved in the management and will no longer supply the know-how.

Romania's Nova Trade group is at present the majority shareholder of Astra Asigurari, with a participation of 73 percent of the share capital.Uniqa acquired in 2005 a share package of 27 percent in Astra Asigurari, for a 10 million euro bill.

In exchange, Uniqa took over Unita, the sixth insurer on the Romanian market, with a market share of 6.12 percent and gross premiums written (GPW) totaling 270.5 million lei in the first half of the year.

Uniqa announced at the end of October that it would hike its share capital by 10 percent to counter the effects the acquisition of Unita might have on its shares.
Brandstetter confirmed the price paid for Unita is situated in the range of 130 and 250 million euros speculated in the press.


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