Italy’s Generali buys 51 pct of Orel-G insurer

MILAN/SOFIA (Reuters) – Italy’s leading insurer, Generali, said it had agreed to buy 51 percent of Bulgarian insurer Orel-G as it continues to expand in high-growth nations in Central and Eastern Europe. Generali yesterday did not disclose the financial details of the planned purchase from holding company Orel Consult AD, which is pending approval by Bulgaria’s anti-monopoly regulator and its financial supervision commission. The acquisition will bring to 10 the countries in which, Generali, Europe’s fourth-largest insurer by market value, operates. Generali Holding Vienna, through which the deal will be carried out, said it had started talks to acquire the remaining shares in Orel G. «The first step is to reach a majority and we have done it. We will continue now to get the other shares. We have started negotiations, and we are on a good way. I think we could finish it by the end of this year,» Karl Stoss, CEO of Generali Holding Vienna AG, told journalists.