German giant Allianz is beefing up its presence in the UK, with two deals that could be worth £800 million, in what is seen as a show of confidence in the London market. It is buying Legal & General’s general insurance arm for £242 million and buying out the 51% stake in LV General insurance it doesn’t already own for up to £578 million. With German authorities trying to lure financial services firms to Frankfurt and Munich in the wake of Brexit, Allianz has gone the other way. It says the two deals will give it 12 million UK general insurance customers with a market share of 9% and sales of £4 billion, making it the second-biggest player in Britain. Home and motor insurance is a highly competitive market, partly thanks to the explosion of price comparison websites. Jonny Urwin at UBS said: “We believe this is the last thing UK insurers needed in a fiercely competitive market, with particular pressure on UK motor insurance margins. “From an Allianz perspective, we question the broader attraction of a move into the UK market given high levels of competition.” L&G’s home, travel and pet insurance arm wrote premiums of £410 million last… Read full this story
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