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Vienna Insurance Group merges Bulgarian units


VIENNA, Austria—Wiener Städtische Versicherung A.G. (Vienna Insurance Group) will merge its Bulgarian operations into one brand in the future called Bulstrad Life and Bulstrad Non-Life, the company announced last week.

At present, Vienna Insurance Group has majority stakes through TBIH Financial Services Group N.V. in Sofia-based Bulstrad Non-Life and Bulstrad Life, and a nearly 100% holding in Bulgarski Imoti Life and Bulgarski Imoti Non-Life, also in Sofia.

Following the planned merger of the Bulgarski Imoti insurance companies into Bulstrad, the Vienna Insurance Group will then hold a direct participation in Bulstrad, the company said. It is expected to finalize the merger by the beginning of 2008.

"The planned merger of Bulstrad and Bulgarski Imoti will enable us to further strengthen our market performance and to gain substantial synergy effects," said Wiener Städtische Chief Executive Officer Günter Geyer in a statement "The then merged companies will be among the strongest insurance companies on the market."