Generali has acquired Axa’s Malaysian operations in line with plans to strengthen its position in the “high potential” Asian economy.
The acquisition will see Generali buy Axa’s stakes in its two Malaysian joint venture operations – Axa Affin General Insurance and Axa Affin Life Insurance – for a combined sum of €150m (£131m).
Alongside the Axa deal, Generali today said it had completed a deal to take full control over its Malaysia joint venture, MPI Generali Insurans Berhad, after buying out Malaysian firm Multi-Purpose Capital Holdings Berhad.
The deals, which will see Generali enter Malaysia’s life-insurance market, come as part of the Trieste firm’s plans to strengthen its position in “high potential” Asian markets, with a view to growing its footprint in the continent’s fastest-growing economies.
Generali’s growth strategy is set to see the firm invest €2.5-3bn into buying up stakes in Asian and European insurers.
In first announcing its Malaysian deals in December 2021, Generali chief executive Jaime Anchústegui Melgarejo said Malaysia’s “growing middle-class population” and “relatively low” rates of coverage make the country an “attractive opportunity.”
The plan will see Generali merge the Axa businesses with its own local operations to create a single, unified entity, Generali Malaysia, which is set to launch in early 2023.
Generali first entered the Malaysian market in 2015 through the acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in MPI Generali Insurans Berhad.
An Axa spokesperson said the deal marks “another step in Axa’s simplification journey” in line with the French insurer’s plans to focus on “core markets where we have the size, presence in the right business segments and a strong potential to grow.”
“We have in Asia a unique set of assets across established and high potential markets where we are deploying our vision, notably in health and protection, bringing high value products and services to our customers,” the Axa spokesperson said.
“The price of the deal is materially aligned with the amount announced when disclosed the signing.”