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Slovenia: Second-Largest Insurance Group to be Sold

Published: October 8, 2012; 19:30 · (Vindobona)

The Austrian Uniqa Group and Grazer Wechselseitige Versicherung (Grawe) are interested in Zavarovalnica Maribor (ZM):

Slovenia: Second-Largest Insurance Group to be Sold / Picture: © UNIQA Group

The Slovenian NKBM (Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor) sells ist majority stake in ZM. First non-binding offers have been submitted to NKBM already. NKBM has do downsize in order to reduce its risky assets. The sales price could reach up to € 70m.

A spokesman of Uniqa already confirmed the intention to acquire ZM. Besides Uniqa, Grawe and the Slovenian Sava Re are said to submit offers to NKBM. Sava Re has a 49% stake in ZM. How many offers NKBM has received is not known. At the moment, the only official bidder is Sava Re. Grawe did not confirm it have submitted an offer yet. The Slovenian state is a core shareholder of Sava Re.

According to the Slovenian business magazine “Finance”, a list of potential buyers will be made this week. After the due diligence, the binding offers may be submitted. NKBM is said to sell its stake in ZM until the end of this year.

The Slovenian banking sector is highly instable for years. A substantial capital shortfall is assumed at the three largest banks. In total, bad loans in the Slovenian banking sector comes up to € 8.0bn. At the moment, the Slovenian government tries to establish a bad bank holding for NLB, NKBM and Abanka Vipa. In the last weeks, the big banks were downgraded by Fitch, Moody´s and S&P.

Uniqa is aiming to double its customer base, from 7.5 million customers in 2010 to 15 million by 2020, and to increase its earnings by up to €400m in the period from 2010 to 2015.  In order to achieve these targets, UNIQA is focusing on its core business in its core markets in Austria and CEE.