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European Commission - Press release

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of joint control over Polish insurer Warta by Talanx and Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance

Brussels, 4 April 2012 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control over the Polish insurance company Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń i Reasekuracji Warta S.A. by Talanx International AG of Germany and Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance of Japan, both insurance companies. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns because of the merged entity's moderate market position and the presence of strong competitors.

The parties' activities overlap in the markets for life and non-life insurance products. The Commission found that the parties would have only a moderate combined market presence, that the addition in market share resulting from the transaction is negligible and that sufficient and strong competitors will remain active on the markets concerned.

The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Companies and products

Talanx is a subsidiary of the German mutual insurance company HDI V.a.G, providing life and non-life insurance products as well as reinsurance. It is active worldwide including in Poland. Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company is a Japanese insurance company, providing both life and non-life insurance products and to a much lesser extent reinsurance. It is not active in Poland, while its activities in the EEA are marginal and related to the reinsurance market.

Warta is a Polish insurance company and currently part of the Belgian KBC Group. It provides reinsurance, life and non-life insurance products to individual and business customers, with a focus on maritime and aviation insurance products. KBC was required to sell Warta following an amendment to its restructuring plan that was approved by the Commission on 27 July 2011 in the context of a state aid investigation (case SA.29833).

Today's decision is without prejudice to KBC's obligations under the state aid procedure.

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 1 March 2012.

Merger control rules and procedures

The Commission has the duty to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation) and to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

The vast majority of mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review. From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has a total of 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval (Phase I) or to start an in-depth investigation (Phase II).

A non-confidential version of today's decision will be available at:

Contacts :

Antoine Colombani (+32 2 297 45 13)

Maria Madrid Pina (+32 2 295 45 30)

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