Athora Holding has closed its acquisition of VIVAT from Anbang Group Holdings, making VIVAT part of Athora’s European group of life insurance companies.
Athora and NN Group have also closed the follow-on sale of VIVAT Schadeverzekeringen (VIVAT Non-life) to NN.
The companies said the deal creates stronger companies in the Dutch life and non-life markets and enhances choice for customers. It also confirms Athora’s position as the leading insurance consolidator in Europe, with approximately 3 million customers, approximately €70 billion in assets, and operations in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Ireland.
VIVAT will remain a Dutch-regulated entity, with its insurance policies staying in the Netherlands. Athora pledged not to implement reinsurance constructions that remove policies from the Netherlands. However, VIVAT will be rebranded to Athora Netherlands by the end of 2020.
Athora said it will leverage VIVAT’s position in Europe, building up its leading market positions in life and pensions via VIVAT’s Reaal and Zwitserleven brands.
It has committed to ensure the agreement will strengthen the safety and security of VIVAT’s customers, by injecting €400 million of equity capital into VIVAT to enhance capital generation. VIVAT’s dividend policy will ensure profits are primarily used to support its capital position and customers’ security, meaning Athora does not expect any dividend distribution from VIVAT in the near-term. Any future dividends will be based on VIVAT’s long-term sustainable capital generation and the satisfaction of certain risk appetite metrics.
Athora has also committed to maintain VIVAT’s capitalisation at levels that ensure the long-term interests of its customers, even in adverse economic circumstances.
Meanwhile, VIVAT has launched a tender of its senior notes, which the groups said demonstrated Athora’s support for reducing VIVAT’s leverage and enhancing its financial strength.
Athora recently secured a further €1.8 billion in permanent equity capital from new and existing shareholders, bringing its total dedicated equity capital commitment from global institutional investors to €4 billion.
The new capital raise included an additional commitment of €500 million from Athene and Apollo, with part of the proceeds used to fund the purchase of VIVAT, and strengthen VIVAT’s balance sheet.
Following closing, Athora will have close to €1bn of committed equity available to support its own business and VIVAT and existing subsidiaries going forward.
Michele Bareggi, CEO of Athora Group, said: “We have a long-term vision and strategic commitment in the Dutch insurance market and VIVAT is the perfect local business for achieving our goals. Under the leadership of VIVAT’s CEO Tom Kliphuis, I am confident that VIVAT is set up to be the leading player in Dutch life and pension markets.”
Maarten Dijkshoorn, chairman of VIVAT’s supervisory board, said the additional financial resources and support from Athora will help it deliver value to customers. “Together with the dedication and efforts of our employees and business partners, I am confident that VIVAT is well-positioned for the future and will continue to deliver the high service level towards our customers going forward,” he added.
Athora, VIVAT, Maarten Dijkshoorn, Michele Bareggi