Bloomberg News

Czarnecki’s Getin Said to Seek Buyer for Insurer TU Europa

September 01, 2011

Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Getin Holding SA, the Polish financial-services group run by billionaire Leszek Czarnecki, is exploring a sale of insurer TU Europa SA, said people familiar with the process.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is advising on a possible sale, said the people, who declined to be identified as talks are private. The market value of the insurer, which is 67 percent owned by Getin, is about 1.52 billion zloty ($526 million).

Czarnecki, 49, has built and sold other companies before to raise funds for fresh projects. His insurer is Poland’s third biggest by gross premiums written, selling mortgage, life and travel insurance through more than 30 banking partners and 850 travel agencies, according to its website.

Maria Bninska, a spokeswoman for Wroclaw-based Getin, said she had nothing to disclose beyond Getin’s current public statements. Alicja Hamkalo, a representative for TU Europa, said she had no information to share on the matter. JPMorgan spokesman Axel Luedeke declined to comment.

In 2001, Czarnecki sold Europejski Fundusz Leasingowy SA, Poland’s first leasing company, to Credit Agricole SA, putting the funds into Getin. Czarnecki had earlier founded an underwater engineering company in the 1980s.

TU Europa said last month that first-half profit rose 20 percent to more than 84 million zloty. Insurers are seeking acquisitions in countries such as Poland, eastern Europe’s biggest economy, as growth in the West slows.

KBC Groep NV, the recipient of 7 billion euros ($10 billion) in Belgian government rescue funds, got permission from the European Commission in July to sell Towarzystwo Ubezpieczen i Reasekuracji Warta SA, Poland’s second-largest insurer.

--Editors: Julie Alnwick, Stephen Taylor

To contact the reporters on this story: Ambereen Choudhury in London at achoudhury@bloomberg.net; Marta Waldoch in Warsaw at mwaldoch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net; Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net


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