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French insurer Axa considers selling up in Central Europe


(Reuters) — French insurer Axa SA is considering selling its Central European business as part of a restructuring to quit markets where it lacks scale, three sources familiar with the situation said.

Axa is undergoing a deep restructuring to help it cope with a negative interest rate environment and make the French group stronger on health and property and damage insurance.

Axa is now focusing on expanding in Asia, after its $15 billion acquisition of Bermuda-based insurer XL last year and its listing of U.S. life insurance and asset management unit Axa Equitable Holdings Inc.

"Axa plans to sell its businesses in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia," one person told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that "teasers," or information packs, had been sent to potential investors.

Two other sources confirmed the planned sales. One person added that Poland's biggest insurer PZU as well as Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali SpA and German insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE were among companies that had received teasers.

One source said the deal could be worth about 400 million euros ($441.10 million), while the other source said it could reach around 800 million euros.

Axa's gross revenues in Poland were down 6% in the first half of 2019 to 288 million euros, according to the group's financial report.

Axa, Allianz, Generali and PZU declined to comment.








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