Suitors for the 80 percent stake in Ethniki Insurance have until the end of January to submit their binding bids.
Sources say invitations for this second stage of the tender for Greece’s biggest insurer have gone out to the two main candidates – the CVC Capital Partners investment fund and Chinese group Fosun. A communication channel is being kept open with special purpose vehicle I3CP, but investment funds Centerbridge Partners and Lone Star appear not to have received an invitation.
The signals to CVC Capital Partners and Fosun point to a strong rivalry between these two candidates. The Chinese group, which is participating in a tender for Ethniki for a third time, has a significant presence in the insurance sector: Managing 87.5 billion euros of funds around the world and premiums of 2 billion euros, Fosun boasts holdings in five insurance firms, including an 85 percent stake in Fosun Insurance Portugal.
Likewise, CVC Capital Partners is considered one of the biggest private equity funds, managing a total of 74 billion euros; it also commands a significant presence in 15 European states, along with activity in the US and Asia, plus holdings in two insurers in Britain and France. It is involved in Greek healthcare through the Hellenic Healthcare Group.
I3CP is associated with Leadenhall Capital Partners, which specializes in insurance sector investments. Among Leadenhall’s owners is Japan’s Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, a subsidiary of the MS&AD insurance group.
The data rooms will open in early January for the presentations to candidate buyers to begin immediately, so that they can have a snapshot of the financial position of Ethniki, a National Bank of Greece subsidiary.