Nordic banking group Nordea is re-entering the Danish pensions market, having agreed to buy the life insurance and pensions activities of Topdanmark, in an acquisition worth €270m.

Nordea said in the announcement of the deal: “The acquisition ensures Nordea a full range of life insurance and pension products in the Nordic region and accelerates Nordea’s strategic ambitions within savings.”

The move marks the bank returning to what it said was the second-largest life insurance and pensions market in the region. Its former subsidiary, Nordea Life & Pensions Denmark, became partly mutualised in 2016, eventually moving to full independence from Nordea and being re-branded as Velliv.

Mads Skovlund, head of personal banking for Denmark at Nordea, said: “Topdanmark Livsforsikring is a really good strategic match and increases our exposure to the Danish retail market for savings.”

Nordea said Topdanmark – which had around €12bn in assets under management at the end of 2021 and approximately 225,000 customers – would be integrated into Nordea and operated under the bank’s own brand.

Peter Hermann, chief executive officer of Topdanmark, said that for many years his company had the advantage of having non-life insurance and pension together in one group for the benefit of both customers and shareholders.

“Despite this, we are accepting an acquisition offer because we believe that Nordea is the right player to operate and further develop Topdanmark Livsforsikring, and because it provides new opportunities for our non-life insurance company,” he said.

Nordea said the agreed price of €270m corresponded to around 13 times Topdanmark’s expected net earnings for 2022, adding that this price would be adjusted according to calculated earnings up to the completion of the transaction.

The bank said the deal was subject to regulatory approval and was expected to be completed in the second half of this year.

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