FXB expects S&P to upgrade Groupama rating

Ageas UK has completed its acquisition of Groupama Insurance Company.

Groupama will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ageas UK, and Ageas will soon appoint a new board with representatives from both insurers. The Groupama brand will be phased out over the next year.

In a statement, Ageas said the combined firms would become the fifth largest UK general insurer, with a 5.2% market share, fourth largest private motor insurer (11.7% market share) and fourth largest personal lines insurer (7.1% market share).

Ageas added that the deal would let it expand its underwriting into areas of personal and commercial lines, and would also help the insurer offer more and better products to brokers.

Ageas UK chief executive Barry Smith said: “The completion of the acquisition is great news as it offers greater certainty and comfort for brokers and their customers when dealing with Groupama in the UK, which is very much open for business, now as part of Ageas. In addition and importantly, the acquisition provides a great platform to extend even further our products and underwriting capabilities to the UK broker market.

“Our immediate priority is to continue to support brokers and to ensure a smooth transition. We believe the complementary strengths of Groupama Insurances alongside our existing business, will ensure brokers can continue to choose from a wide range of products that meet their customers’ needs with a guarantee that they will receive the high levels of service they have become accustomed to.”

Groupama chief executive François-Xavier Boisseau said: “I’m delighted that the sale process is now complete and that we have become a part of Ageas UK. Not only is our business highly complementary to that of Ageas, they are also very committed to working with us to develop the full potential of our positioning as a growing specialist insurer.

“Importantly, the deal also allows us to benefit from their strength and security and to consign to the past the security issues surrounding our previous parent. We now expect Standard & Poor’s to resolve our credit watch very shortly and to confirm our new rating in the ‘BBB’ category.

“Contrary to market speculation our business has actually traded well throughout the period of the sale and we are already seeing levels of support increase following the earlier news confirming the interest of Ageas. As Barry has said, we are now well and truly open for business.”