Insurance giant AXA to sell its Gulf business

Pedro Gonçalves
Insurance giant AXA to sell its Gulf business

AXA, Europe's second biggest insurer, has agreed to sell its insurance operations in the Gulf region to Gulf Insurance Group (GIG) for $269m.

The deal includes the sale of the French insurer's 50% stake in AXA Gulf, a stake of 34% in Saudi Arabia-based AXA Cooperative Insurance, and a stake of 28% in the UAE-based AXA Green Crescent Insurance.

AXA Gulf has operations across Bahrain, the UAE, Oman, and Qatar.

This transaction marks another step in AXA’s continued simplification journey

As part of the transaction, Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo, one of the largest conglomerates in the Gulf Region, will also sell its shareholding in AXA Gulf and in AXA Cooperative Insurance Company.

Gulf Insurance Group is backed by Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO) and Canada-based Fairfax Financial.

AXA CEO Thomas Buberl said: "This transaction marks another step in AXA's continued simplification journey. We are convinced that AXA's operations in the Gulf region will benefit from GIG's leadership and scale in the region, to further pursue their focus on delivering growth and excellent customer service."

AXA's insurance businesses in the Gulf region have a total of more than 1,000 employees. The businesses are said to cater to more than one million customers via more than 30 branches and sales outlets.

Paul Adamson, CEO of AXA Gulf, said: "Myself and the management team of AXA in the Gulf region are delighted that our new investors have a strong commitment and established footprint in the region through GIG complemented by the global Insurance brand of Fairfax.

Gulf Insurance Group CEO Khaled Saoud Al Hasan said: "This acquisition marks yet another step in Gulf Insurance Group's expansion journey. The regional experience of KIPCO and the international exposure of Fairfax make us well-positioned to take AXA's Gulf operations to the next level.

"This transaction will bring us into new insurance markets in Oman and Qatar, and increase our operations in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE.

The company said in a statement it expects to close the deal by the third quarter of next year.


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