Turkish Yapi Kredi Insurance sale launched

02.05.2008 - 09:34 | Son Güncelleme:

The sale of Turkish Yapi Kredi Bank's insurance business was launched this week in a teaser document sent out to possible buyers, sources familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

Yapi Kredi Sigorta (Insurance), majority owned by Yapi Kredi Bank, has a market value of $814 million, according to Reuters’ data. It also owns a pensions company.

"They started it this week ... they are selling a significant majority of non-life and a majority of life and pension," a source close to the deal told Reuters.

Yapi Kredi Bank said in February it had hired Merrill Lynch and Unicredit CA IB as advisors to help it reorganize its operations in the insurance sector. A bank official on Thursday said there were no developments which would require it to make an official announcement.

Turkey's insurance sector has seen a wave of foreign acquisitions in the last couple of years, and foreign firms already in Turkey include France's AXA, Britain's Aviva and Spain's Mapfre.

The sector's premiums grew 14 percent last year, according to data from industry body TSRSB, well ahead of Turkey's overall economic growth of 4.5 percent.

In April, German insurer Allianz SE said it was paying nearly $600 million to raise its stake in two Turkish insurers -- Koc Allianz Sigorta AS and Koc Allianz Hayat ve Emeklilik -- to a majority. The valuation of that deal gave insurance sector shares a boost.

Allianz bought the shares from Koc Holding, along with Unicredit, is also the main shareholder in Yapi Kredi Bank.

"Our latest valuations indicates a target market cap of $826 million for Yapi Kredi Sigorta. However, the latest Koc-Allianz transaction multiples suggest that a possible Yapi Kredi Sigorta deal could be realized above $1.1 billion levels," said Oyak Securities analyst Hasan Sener.

Any international sale would bring welcome foreign capital into Turkey, which expects a slowdown in foreign direct investment flows this year and a sharp increase in its already large current account deficit to around $50 billion.



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