Danske Bank’s pensions subsidiary Danica Pension is taking over SEB Pension’s activities in Denmark in a deal that will bring its assets close to the level of market leader PFA.

Danica Pension – currently the second biggest commercial pension fund in Denmark after PFA – has signed an agreement to acquire SEB Pensionsforsikring and SEB Administration from Nordic financial services group SEB.

Danske Bank said this would result in around 200,000 new pension customers joining Danica, bringing its total to 800,000.

Per Klitgård, chief executive of Danica Pension, said: “The acquisition will give us strengthened innovation capacity, enabling us to deliver the right solutions for our pension and insurance customers – now and in the future.”

Danica Pension also said the deal would make it more competitive through economies of scale.

The takeover, which is expected to receive final approval from authorities in the first half of 2018, means that Danica Pension will have around DKK547bn (€73.5bn) in assets under management, according to 2016 figures.

This is just shy of PFA’s DKK607bn total assets at the end of 2016.

In terms of customer numbers, with about 1.2m customers, PFA would still be considerably larger than Danica Pension.

In the deal, SEB will sell all shares in SEB Pensionsforsikring and SEB Administration for a total of DKK6.5bn, consisting of DKK5bn in cash and a pre-closing dividend of DKK1.5bn.

Johan Torgeby, president and chief executive of SEB, said: “I am pleased that we together with Danica have concluded a mutually beneficial deal.

“The transaction has clear strategic and long-term financial benefits and is consistent with SEB’s strategy allowing us to continue to grow with our core customer segments and accelerate the transformation of the bank.”