“Why would I buy a small follower business in a small country that is fully consolidated?”
Those were the words of Allianz chief executive Oliver Bäte when he clarified, in an interview with the Financial Times, that the biggest insurer in Europe has no interest in snapping up the Singapore operations of British behemoth Aviva.
Bäte, while conceding that this particular Aviva unit is “a good one,” pointed out that it’s the smallest of four large ones in the Asian city-state.
Meanwhile Germany’s insurance giant also has no plans of growing its presence on American soil.
“Buying something in the US for us is out of the question at the moment because their valuations are much more frothy than what we have in Europe,” the publication quoted the CEO as stating.
So what does Bäte’s camp have its sights on? Something a lot like LV= General Insurance (LV=GI), it turns out.
In December 2017 the UK arm of the Munich-headquartered group acquired 49% of LV=GI from Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society (LV=), and then earlier this year LV= and Allianz announced that the latter was purchasing the mutual’s remaining shareholding to become sole owner of LV=GI.
In his Financial Times interview, Bäte revealed: “We’re looking for LV=’s.” That means going for mid-sized businesses instead of opting for mega-mergers.