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Italy's Banco BPM picks Credit Agricole for non-life insurance talks

French bank Credit Agricole strikes bancassurance deal with Italy's Banco BPM
French bank Credit Agricole strikes bancassurance deal with Italy's Banco BPM Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
By Reuters
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MILAN - Banco BPM has picked its top investor Credit Agricole to start exclusive talks over a non-life insurance partnership, Italy's third-largest bank said on Tuesday.

The French bank, which holds 9.2% of Banco BPM, has trumped a rival bid by insurer AXA in a deal which sources have said it is expected to be worth around 300 million euros ($310 million).

Credit Agricole has said it has invested in Banco BPM to expand their commercial partnerships currently centred on consumer credit.

Winning plaudits from analysts for its strategy on insurance, Banco BPM had decided to gain full control of an insurance venture with Covea by buying out the French partner.

It is planning to do the same in relation to an insurance partnership it currently has in place with Cattolica, now a unit of Generali.

In August it said it would hold onto its life insurance business, while pressing ahead with the search of a new partner for the non-life division.

Non-life is more attractive than life for potential bidders.

Banco BPM said the exclusive talks aimed at setting the terms at which Credit Agricole Assurances would buy a majority stake in its non-life insurance business.

That currently comprises the non-life operations of the former Covea joint-venture, to which Banco BPM will add the non-life venture with Cattolica once it exercises the repurchase option.($1 = 0.9681 euros)

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