Brussels, 20 September 2012
Mergers: Commission approves joint venture between Euler Hermes and Mapfre in delcredere insurance
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed creation of a joint venture between the insurance companies Euler Hermes S.A. of France and Mapfre S.A. of Spain, which will encompass their respective delcredere businesses in Spain, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, as well as Mapfre's delcredere business in Argentina. Delcredere insurance protects policy holders against the risk of their clients' insolvency. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the operation would not raise competition concerns because it would not significantly alter the market structure in Europe.
The Commission's investigation showed that the overlaps resulting from the creation of the joint venture in the Spanish delcredere insurance and credit insurance sectors were below 15% and thus do not raise competition concerns.
The Commission also analysed potential spill-over effects on other markets, since Euler Hermes and Mapfre are both active in several insurance markets across Europe. However, the Commission concluded that any coordination between the two companies that would result in restricting competition was highly unlikely, because their cooperation is limited to the scope of the joint venture, which only represents a small part of the parents' portfolio.
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.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 16 August 2012.
Companies and products
Euler Hermes is an international French business group, ultimately controlled by the German Allianz Group.
Mapfre is an international Spanish insurance and reinsurance business group.
Delcredere insurance protects policy-holders against the risk of their clients' insolvency, either in the domestic market (where they operate) or in foreign countries (in the case of exports).
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: