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MetLife Heads to Eastern Europe

Vltava River, Prague (Petr Novák, Wikipedia)
Vltava River, Prague (Petr Novák, Wikipedia)

MetLife Inc., (NYSE:MET) will acquire from Aviva plc its life insurance businesses in the Czech Republic (Aviva Czech Life) and Hungary (Aviva Hungary Life) as well as its life insurance and pension businesses in Romania (Aviva Romania Life and Penisons).

MetLife  is intent on investing in high-potential markets and this transaction creates an excellent opportunity to reach more customers with a broader product and service offering, and further build scale in our existing operations in the countries, said Michel Khalaf, President for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region for MetLife.

MetLife sees these markets as high-potential because they feel that insurance growth across Eastern Europe exceeds that of more developed markets such as the US, Western Europe and Japan. Forecast gross written premium for Eastern European countries is estimated at 13-19%

The opportunity to solidify market positions in this part of Europe far outweighs macroeconomic events that may not be ideal and some stereotypes that linger about doing business in this part of the continent.

As far as integration with Aviva plc is concerned, MetLife and Aviva will be developing plans for the operating model of the combined businesses. Staffing will be determined by the business needs as illustrated by the modeling.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. acted as the only financial advisor to MetLife during the deal. The transaction is expected to be completed during 2012.


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