Vienna Insurance Group has taken another step towards expanding its presence in Central and Eastern Europe. After acquiring Latvian non-life insurer Baltikums AAS this summer, VIG will secure a majority stake in another Latvian insurance company.
The Group will purchase the majority of shares in BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS (BTA Baltic), which is headquartered in Latvia and has branch offices in Lithuania and Estonia. The purchase agreement has been signed and is subject to regulatory approval. The current shareholders will continue working for BTA Baltics.
„With this transaction we have achieved an important goal of VIG’s strategic development in the Baltics. We rank among the top players in life as well as in non-life in the Baltic States, for economic reasons a particularly interesting region within the EU. Moreover this acquisition opens up very good opportunities for cross selling of life and non-life products”, said Franz Fuchs, responsible among others for the Baltic markets in the VIG Managing Board.
In 2014 BTA Baltic recorded gross premiums of around EUR 117 million (2013: EUR 112 million), with Lithuania accounting for 46.1 percent of the total, Latvia for 40.5 percent and Estonia for 13.4 percent. Some 40 percent of premiums were attributable to motor liability insurance and over 20 percent to casco insurance. Property generated 10 percent and health insurance around 9 percent of premiums respectively. Profit before tax in 2014 amounted to EUR 10.6 million
(2013: EUR 6.6 million) and BTA Baltic’s combined ratio was at impressive 94 percent last year.
The company has a market share of about 20 percent in Latvia, where it is the second-largest insurer on the non-life market. It is also the second-largest non-life insurer in Lithuania, with a market share of around 14 percent. BTA Baltic is Estonia’s seventh-biggest insurance company, with a market share of about 6 percent. Through the acquisition of BTA Baltic VIG will become one of the top 3 insurers in the non-life market of the Baltic States.