Axa negotiates the purchase of the insurance subsidiaries of Crédit Mutuel in Spain

Axa is negotiating the purchase of the insurers that the French group Crédit Mutuel has put up for sale in Spain, according to financial sources confirmed to this newspaper. The French bank seeks to divest its business in our country, both that of the entity, Targobank, where it stops the operation, and that of the insurers Agrupació and Atlantis (firms that are included within the company GACM Seguros Generales Compañía de Seguros y Reaseguros), that aim to remain in the hands of Axa, on the other hand, also of French origin. From Axa they have declined to comment on it.

Precisely, the director of Human Resources of Crédit Mutuel in France, Laurent Metral, traveled to Madrid on Monday to hold a meeting with the unions. At the meeting, Metral confirmed that a possible sale of Targobank and the insurers in parts is being contemplated, as this newspaper already anticipated in its day. The French group has commissioned different due diligence to sell the business in Spain separately.

The director of Human Resources also pointed out that Crédit Mutuel has made an investment with no return in the project in Spain and every year it has to inject capital into the entity so that the business is sustainable. UGT, Targobank’s majority union, and CCOO yesterday informed the staff about Metral’s explanations through a statement. However, despite the fact that Crédit Mutuel is interested in selling, at the moment, it assures that it does not have any firm offer.

“Change of Helm”

The general secretary of UGT in Targobank, Cristian Vázquez, tells this newspaper that it is difficult for him to understand these strategic decisions due to the mutual and supportive nature of the group. Likewise, he recalls that according to the words of the president of Crédit Mutuel, Nicolas Théry, the growth of the group required international and, above all, European implantation in order to maintain its rating. A decade ago, the weight of French activity in the group accounted for 90% and foreign business, 10%, while today, French business accounts for 75% and international business, 25%.

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“In general, the activities of the group were going for the better in Spain and that is why that last-minute change of direction is not understood, which can have many negative consequences and that is why in the event of a hypothetical sale, the group is asked to guarantee the positions of I work in all the companies that are going to be sold in Spain”, concludes Vázquez.

Targobank and the two insurers came together in 2021 to form the single brand ‘We take momentum’ with the aim of boosting the business in the medium term.

GACM Seguros Generales Compañía de Seguros y Reaseguros, a firm that includes Agrupació and Atlantis, closed the 2021 financial year with profits of 5.57 million euros, 60% lower than a year earlier. The turnover for the year reached 171 million euros, which represented a reduction of 7.7% compared to 2020 with a reduction in the auto, home and travel assistance lines and growth in deaths.

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