Volksbank sector extends cooperation with ERGO
ERGO buys VBAG’s insurance participation
ERGO Austria International AG is acquiring the minority interests held by VBAG in VICTORIA-VOLKSBANKEN Versicherungsgesellschaften in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe. At the same time, the cooperation agreement between ERGO and Volksbank sector will be extended by a further eleven years.
ERGO acquires 25% share from VBAG
The basis for the sale of the participation is the strategic repositioning of Österreichische Volksbanken-Aktiengesellschaft (VBAG) and the resulting disposal of equity investments. The full take-over of the insurance participation by ERGO was agreed upon in talks on further cooperation. VBAG currently holds just over 25% in VICTORIA-VOLKSBANKEN Versicherungsgesellschaften in Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia. Around 75% was already owned by ERGO Austria International AG and VICTORIA-VOLKSBANKEN Versicherungs AG abroad. The parties to the contract agreed that the sales price will not be disclosed.
Exclusive agreement until end of 2022
The cooperation agreement expiring at the end of 2012 has been redrawn and extended to the end of 2022 effective 1 January 2012. “Our highly harmonious and successful cooperation with the Volksbank sector has been in place for more than 26 years. Thanks to the agreements that have now been concluded, there is no longer anything to stop us from continuing this positive development. On the contrary, we will intensify the cooperation with and servicing of the Volksbanks even further in the coming months,” said CEO of ERGO Austria International, Elisabeth Stadler.
Volksbanks – main sales partner
The Volksbanks are the primary sales partner of VICTORIA-VOLKSBANKEN Versicherung. Around 84% of its total business currently results from this sales channel. VBAG's CEO Gerald Wenzel commented: “Continuity is very important in these volatile times and very much in the interests of customers. For many years, the Volksbanks have had a reliable partner in ERGO. It is our pleasure that this cooperation is now being intensified and extended.”
ERGO – 100% owner of international companies
For ten years, VICTORIA-VOLKSBANKEN Versicherung has had subsidiaries in Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Croatia and a branch in Slovenia. Their main sales partners are the respective regional Volksbanks in these countries. As in Austria, ERGO Austria is assuming VBAG’s stakes of a little more than 25% in each of these companies. In the past year, the international subsidiaries of VICTORIA VOLKSBANKEN Versicherung generated €48.5 million in premiums and contributed 40% of ERGO Austria’s international business.
Composite insurance provider and pension schemes specialist
The roots of what is today VICTORIA-VOLKSBANKEN Versicherung extend back to 1891. Its insurance range in Austria comprises life, accident, motor and home and property insurance for retail customers. It also offers commercial insurance solutions and company pension schemes for corporate clients. In addition to the Volksbank sales channels, its products are also marketed by its own field agents and independent brokers. In 2010, VICTORIA-VOLKSBANKEN Versicherung's premium volume amounted to € 269 million.
Company pension schemes are covered by VICTORIA-VOLKSBANKEN Pensionskassen AG and VICTORIA-VOLKSBANKEN Vorsorgekasse AG. VBAG holds interests of 47.5% in Pensionskassen and 50% in Vorsorgekasse. The current transaction does not affect the ownership of these two companies.
Press contact ERGO: Press contact VBAG:
Wolfgang Haas, MSc Walter Gröblinger
ERGO Austria International AG Österreichische Volksbanken-AG
1110 Vienna, Modecenterstrasse 17 1090 Vienna, Kolingasse 14-16
Tel. +43 1 27444-3700 Tel. +43 0 50 4004-3864
About ERGO Austria
The insurance companies operating in Austria and owned by ERGO Austria International AG include BANK AUSTRIA Versicherung, VICTORIA-VOLKSBANKEN Versicherung, VICTORIA-VOLKSBANKEN Pensions- und Vorsorgekasse and ERGO Insurance Service GmbH, which bundles back office activities. ERGO Austria is the fifth-biggest insurance group on the Austrian insurance market and currently maintains international subsidiaries in seven countries. Its primary sales partners both in Austria and abroad are Bank Austria/UniCredit Group and Österreichische Volksbanken Group. ERGO Austria International AG in Vienna is a subsidiary of ERGO Versicherungsgruppe AG, headquartered in Düsseldorf.
Further information can be found at www.ergo-austria.at
VBAG - Österreichische Volksbanken-Aktiengesellschaft:
VBAG, which was founded in 1922, is the central institution of the co-operative Austrian Volksbanks. The regional Volksbanks are strong partners for SMEs and private customers. After years of expansion, VBAG now concentrates on its core business areas. As the central institution, VBAG offers a wide range of services to the Volksbanks. Regionally, the focus clearly is on Austria.
Further information can be found at www.volksbank.com