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IBOS member KBC announces that the bank has acquired MetLife’s 40% stake in UBB-MetLife joint venture (Bulgaria).

On 29 December 2017, KBC and MetLife reached an agreement for KBC (through DZI, the bank’s Bulgarian insurance subsidiary) to acquire MetLife’s remaining 40% stake in UBB-MetLife Life Insurance Company AD, which is a life insurance joint venture between UBB and MetLife (“UBB-MetLife”).

Earlier this year, as part of KBC’s acquisition of UBB and Interlease, KBC (through UBB) acquired 60% of UBB-MetLife. The life insurance products of UBB-MetLife are exclusively distributed via UBB’s bank branches. UBB-MetLife has a 10% market share in the Bulgarian life insurance market and has a full life insurance product range.

Once the deal is closed (expected Q2 2018), KBC, through DZI, will service the insurance policies of the existing UBB-MetLife customers until maturity of their policies. Following this transaction, KBC will be able to distribute DZI life and non-life insurance products through UBB’s bank branches and, in this way, fully roll out its bank-insurance approach in the Bulgarian market, one of KBC’s core markets.

Johan Thijs, KBC Group CEO, said:

“I am very pleased with this transaction, which forms the pinnacle of KBC’s acquisition of UBB/Interlease earlier this year. It confirms our position as a strong local market player, which is able to offer a full range of bank-insurance products to its Bulgarian customers in an omni-channel environment. Expanding our activities in the country, building on the competence and dynamism of UBB-CIBank and DZI, and leveraging our joint product and service offering including life insurance will help us to reach this goal and ensure future success.

Combined, DZI and UBB-MetLife will have a market share of 21% in the Bulgarian life insurance market. Together with UBB-CIBANK, they will strengthen KBC’s reference position in bank-insurance in Bulgaria, a country that boasts strong macroeconomic fundamentals while still offering potential for further penetration in financial services.

Read the full press release here