Axa LM's first purchase with a UAE company will expand its international footprint
Axa LM acquires majority stake in the UAE's Emirates Re
Axa Liabilities Managers, a global mid-sized unit of French insurer Axa Group, has expanded its international presence by acquiring a majority stake in the UAE’s Islamic reinsurer Emirates Re.
Axa LM, which specialises in the acquisition and management of legacy insurance and reinsurance business, said in a statement on Tuesday the purchase was its 19th transaction on the external market and its first with a UAE company. It didn't disclose the value of the deal or the size of the stake.
"This transaction, which demonstrates our great responsiveness and ability to adapt to new markets and diverse types of business, further fuels our ambition as a run-off acquirer and our appetite for new deals," said Sylvain Villeroy de Galhau, chief executive of Axa LM.
Dubai International Financial Centre-based Emirates Re has gross reserves of $69 million comprised of property, motor, accident, energy and marine risks in the Middle East and North Africa region as well as India.
There has been a flurry of mergers and acquisitions in the region’s insurance sector in recent years.
In 2014, Axa and the Kanoo Group invested Dh100m in the UAE insurer Green Crescent Insurance Company through a convertible bond.
It was the first sign of a shift in the overcrowded UAE insurance market, which has more than 60 players split between 30 listed local insurers and the subsidiaries of foreign insurers.
In July last year, Cigna, one of the biggest US insurance companies, acquired Zurich Insurance Middle East to grow its global footprint. Cigna declined to give a value to the deal. The sale followed Zurich’s decision in 2015 to close its general insurance business in the Middle East to new retail and small business customers.
Jonathan Cimino, chairman of the board at Emirates Re said the agreement offers the company "a favourable outcome for all stakeholders involved".
The net profit of listed insurers surged 45 per cent to Dh1.3 billion in 2017 compared with Dh900m a year earlier, thanks to compulsory medical insurance, particularly in Dubai and the Unified Motor Insurance Policy, according to S&P Global Ratings.