Global insurance heavyweight Generali is reportedly planning to sell its 140-year Dutch business to start its exit from several markets as part of wider cost-cutting efforts.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reported that Generali is looking to offload its subsidiary in the Netherlands, where the non-life business suffered a decline in net profit from €4.5 million in 2014 to €1.9 million in 2015 due to diminishing demand.
The report noted that the potential deal would be the first in a series of planned divestments that Generali first announced in November 2016. The insurance giant revealed then that it was reviewing operations in 13 to 15 countries and that it will leave weaker markets to raise about €1 billion by 2018.
According to Reuters sources, some of the countries under review include Belgium and Portugal where Generali lacks scale. In South America, the company is planning to sell its local operations in Colombia, Panama and Ecuador.
One of the sources told the news agency that Generali may need up to 18 months to finalise all the planned divestments.
The sources also backed up earlier reports that Generali will announce an acceleration in its cost-cutting drive on March 16 when it reveals its 2016 results.
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