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Allianz in Talks to Buy Australian Insurer QBE

ALLIANZ SE Hauptversammlung 2016
Allianz CEO Oliver Bäte. Source: DPA

The world’s second-largest insurer, Allianz, is engaged in informal talks with Australian insurer QBE about a possible acquisition, Handelsblatt has learned.

Allianz Chief Executive Oliver Bäte held an in-depth discussion with his counterpart at QBE, John Neal, before Christmas, according to Handelsblatt’s sources. The conversation was friendly, the sources said, but there’s a long way to go before a concrete deal is hammered out.

Mr. Bäte floated an offer of 15 Australian dollars per share, a premium of 20 percent, for QBE. The transaction would total 20 billion Australian dollars or about €14 billion.

The acquisition of QBE would be the first major coup for Mr. Bäte since he took office as Allianz’s chief executive two years ago. The German insurer has been primarily focused on improving customer service and digitalization under his tenure.

Mr. Bäte has named three conditions for an acquisition: a company of the right size, a fair price and closing the deal on amicable terms. QBE is one of the top 20 insurers world wide and is particularly strong in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.

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