Getin to Sell Europa to Talanx, Meiji for $260 Million

Getin Holding SA, the financial-services group controlled by Polish billionaire Leszek Czarnecki, is selling a majority stake in insurer Europa SA to Germany’s Talanx International AG and Japan’s Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance.

Getin will sell 50 percent plus one share in the Wroclaw, western Poland-based company for 911.9 million zloty ($260 million), or 193 zloty a share, and will retain 16.5 percent of Europa for at least 10 years, Czarnecki told reporters today.

Europa “might be very profitable business” and Getin’s other units have business relations with the insurer, Czarnecki said.

Talanx, Germany’s third-biggest insurer, and Meiji are offering to buy 100 percent of Europa for 193 zloty. Once the offer closes Talanx will hold the majority stake in Europa, Talanx Chief Executive Officer Torsten Leue said in Warsaw today. The German company plans to expand in faster-growing economies in central and eastern Europe and is on the shortlist to buy Polish insurer Towarzystwo Ubezpieczen i Reasekuracji Warta SA from KBC Group NV, Leue said.

Europa shares jumped 21 percent, the most in 15 months, to 185 zloty as of 12:58 p.m. in Warsaw. Getin rose 7 percent to 6.74 zloty.

Ewa Radkowska-Swieton, head of investments of ING PTE SA, which owns 11 percent in Europa, declined to comment on the Talanx and Meiji offer.

Strengthen Banking

Europa, which offers banking and life insurance products, reported premiums of 4.4 billion zloty in 2010. JPMorgan Chase & Co. advised Getin in the sale of Europa, while UniCredit SpA helped the buyers, Czarnecki and Leue said.

The Europa transaction should be completed in the second quarter of next year, Getin said in a separate statement. The proceeds may be spent on an acquisition or to strengthen Getin’s banking operations, Czarnecki said.

Czarnecki traded his underwater engineering company in 1991 to set up Europejski Fundusz Leasingowy SA, Poland’s first leasing company, which he then sold in 2001 to Credit Agricole SA for 412 million euros and reinvested the money into the Getin group.

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