The sale of MetLife to Dutch insurer NN is creating the biggest life insurance company in Greece with a life and health market share of 31% and an overall insurance market share of 18%. The takeover of MetLife’s activity in Greece forms part of a broader agreement of the US group on its departures from the Greek and Polish markets, where its divisions are being sold to the NN Group for a total of 584 million euros.
Both insurers have a significant presence in Greece and are active in the life and health insurance sector. According to 2020 data, NN Hellas is the sector’s second biggest company with a total premium of €470.4 million, while MetLife’s premium added up to €285 million. Last year NN Hellas posted profits of €10 million, while MetLife’s aftertax losses amounted to €67.4 million.
As the Dutch group announced, NN will become a market leader in the group programs on health and investment and expand its health and accidents portfolio in Greece. The deal also includes a network of over 400 insurance brokers, adding more than 50% to its existing network.
Last year the NN Group invested €20 million in the Greek market through a share capital increase in the context of strengthening of its local subsidiary’s capital position. In March 2021 it completed the absorption by NN Hellas of Eurolife Cyprus Ltd’s life portfolio, based on the contract the two parties had signed in February 2019. The solvency ratio of the company rose 250% last year from 226% in 2019, compared to a minimum requirement for 100%.
NN Group chief executive officer David Knibbe said that “strategically and financially this is a unique opportunity for NN to enhance value and consolidate our leading positions in these markets. The acquisition will add scale, provide growth opportunities and drive diversification in life and protection in markets with low insurance penetration rates.”
He added that “having built our NN business in Greece since 1980 and in Poland since 1994, we know and understand these markets well. MetLife’s activities tie in well with ours, with a cultural fit and a mirrored business model, allowing for a smooth integration. While combining the strengths of both companies, we will continue to focus on the well-being of both our new and existing customers.”