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Uniqa group to buy out EBRD stake from subsidiaries in CEE region

Vienna-based Uniqa group will buy out the minority stakes held in its Hungarian, Croatian and Polish units from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Uniqa said on Wednesday. The transaction will be carried out in the coming few weeks. The partners will not disclose the price.

EBRD holds 15% of the Hungarian Uniqa subsidiary, it holds 20% of the Croatian unit and 30% of the group's two Polish units.

Uniqa said it agreed to sell its stake in the German Mannheimer group and focus on purchasing the EBRD stakes in its CEE units. The group plans to focus on its markets in Austria and in Central and Eastern Europe to meet its growth target of doubling the number of its clients by 2020 from 7.5 million in 2010.

The Hungarian unit Uniqa Biztosító was Hungary's sixth-biggest insurer based on total revenue from premiums of HUF 53 billion last year, earlier Econews information shows.

Revenue from premiums dropped 3.6% from 2010, and the company booked a HUF 1.87 billion loss in 2011, compared to profit of HUF 394 million in 2010. It paid HUF 1.6 billion on an extraordinary tax on financial companies. It managed 761,000 contracts for 543,000 clients at the end of the year.

Uniqa Biztosító CEO Othmar Michl recently said that they had Q1 profit of about HUF 500 million, excluding the effect of the extraordinary tax, and aim to break in the full year even after paying the extraordinary tax.