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MADRID, SpainMAPFRE S.A. is acquiring a majority stake in Genel Sigorta, Turkey's 10th largest non-life insurer, the Madrid-based insurer said.
After negotiations with Turkey's Cukurova Group, MAPFRE signed a memorandum of understanding under which it will acquire 80% of Genel Sigorta for approximately €285 million ($375.6 million) , the company said in a statement.
The Cukurova Group, which will maintain a 20% stake, is one of the largest industrial groups in Turkey and operates in the telecommunications, press and radio, motor, shipping, packaging and construction sectors.
Genel Sigorta has an expected premium volume of €180 million ($237.2 million) in 2007, most of which will come from its non-life insurance business. The insurer, with a 3.2% share of the Turkish market, had an estimated net profit of €27 million ($35.6 million) in 2006, an increase of 15% compared to the previous year, MAPFRE said.MAPFRE said the acquisition gives it access to the Turkish insurance market, which it believes has huge growth potential and is experiencing fast growth.