The Credit Suisse Group announced it has agreed to sell its entire Winterthur insurance business to AXA in a CHF12.3bn (e7.9bn) cash deal.
The move follows Credit Suisse’s decision in 2004 to focus its growth strategy on an integrated global banking business model.
“For the past two years, CSG has been managing Winterthur as a financial investment and preparing it for a capital market transaction,” the group said.
According to the bank’s chief executive Oswald Grübel, there are plans in the pipeline to invest the proceeds from the sale in the development of its banking business. The sale of the Swiss insurance giant will consolidate AXA’s position in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK.
Winterthur will also increase AXA’s presence in Asia, and provide a life and pensions operating platform in Central and Eastern Europe where it is among the top five pensions players in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.
The acquisition of Winterthur – with roughly e100bn in assets under management – will put AXA among the top worldwide for assets under management.
“The acquisition of Winterthur fits well with AXA’s strategic focus on organic growth complemented by bolt-on acquisitions,” said AXA.