European insurance industry is braced for pickup in M&A activity

THE European insurance sector is set for a wave of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity, as companies look for growth opportunities over the next year, Moody’s said yesterday.

M&A volume had fallen sharply over the past couple of years, but recent stabilisation of capital markets would provide scope for consolidation, the credit ratings agency added.

Antonello Aquino, Moody’s vice president, said: “The rebound in M&A volume in the European insurance sector will be driven by the quest for growth opportunities to offset the otherwise lacklustre organic growth outlook in many European markets.”

Prudential bought AIA Group, an insurer based in Hong Kong, for £23bn at the beginning of March.