NETHERLANDS - Dutch insurer Aegon has gained full control of the Romanian pension business BT Aegon by completing the acquisition of a 50% stake in Banca Transilvania's.

Aegon and Banca Transivania (BT) have signed a distribution agreement as part of the transaction, which will see BT continue to offer Aegon life insurance and pension products.

"This agreement allows both BT and Aegon to benefit from the expected growth in the Romanian pension and life insurance markets in the coming years," the two parties said in a joint statement.

An Aegon spokesman advised IPE that BT Aegon had a 3% market share of the pensions arena and 140,000 participants at the end of 2008, making it the eighth-largest pensions provider in Romania.

Romanian legislation decrees that workers must participate in a pension scheme but they are at least free to choose their provider.

Aegon said it paid approximately €11m for the shareholding in BT Aegon, which the two companies set up in last year.

According to Aegon, the acquisition will further strengthen its position both in Romania and in the Central and Eastern European region as a whole, the group also has businesses in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Turkey.

Banca Transilvania is one of Romania's leading banks, with more than one million retail clients and a network of over 500 branches.

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