The Banco closes with the French: to Agricole the bancassurance

Crédit Agricole buys another piece of Banco Bpm. Indeed, yesterday the third largest Italian bank sold 65% of its insurance policies to Crédit Agricole Assurances. From here a commercial partnership will then start in the Non-Life/Protection sector between the two institutes with a twenty-year horizon. The binding agreement disclosed yesterday provides for the acquisition by Agricole of the 65% stake in Banco Bpm Assicurazioni. In the same way, 65% of Vera Assicurazioni will be sold, once the repurchase of the stake held by Cattolica Assicurazioni, which in turn holds 100% of Vera Protezione, will be concluded. The operation – reads the note from the Italian institute – is based on a valuation of 100% of the insurance companies equal to 400 million euros. Consequently, Banco will pay 260 million for the sale of 65% of the Agricole companies. The sale price is subject to adjustment following the due diligence and will be paid in cash on the closing date (which is expected by the end of 2023). The transaction will have a positive impact on Banco Bpm’s fully loaded adjusted Cet1 ratio (the bank’s capital strength index) and can be estimated at 13 basis points.

The news had no effect on the Stock Exchange: Banco Bpm gained just 0.18% to 3.37 euro, even if for Banca Imi analysts the operation is positive from a strategic point of view because it allows Banco Bpm to have an industrial partner for the non-life insurance sector. «We are extremely satisfied with the agreement reached with Crédit Agricole» said Giuseppe Castagna, CEO of Banco Bpm, explaining that «thanks to this agreement we have been able to fully exploit the potential of our Non-Life and Protection sector, building on the positive experiences gained in a success story like that of Agos».

The new operation, in fact, closely resembles what has already been done in the field of consumer credit since the times of Banco Popolare, when Agos Ducato was born in 2009, which later became Agos in 2015. After the 2017 merger between Banco Popolare and Banca Bpm , now Agos is 61% owned by Credit Agricole and 39% by Banco Bpm.

The French counterpart is also satisfied with the agreement, with the official note defining it as consistent «with the medium-term plan to 2025 of Crédit Agricole Assurances» and, moreover, «represents a further step forward to promote international development through new distribution partnerships» . The transaction would meet Crédit Agricole’s profitability criteria with a return on investment of over 10% in three years. “We are very happy that our long-standing strategic partnership with Banco Bpm will soon be strengthened with the signing of an agreement between Banco Bpm and Crédit Agricole Assurances”, commented Philippe Brassac, CEO of the French group who is also the main shareholder of Bpm with 9.18% of the capital after the 350 million investment last April.

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The Banco closes with the French: to Agricole the bancassurance

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