Helvetia has gone through with the announced takeover of Basler Versicherungen Ltd in Austria (Basler Austria). With the required approval of FMA and the Austrian Federal Competition Authority, the transaction was finalised as of the end of August. At the agreed purchase price of EUR130million, Helvetia Insurance Ltd, Vienna (Helvetia Austria) has become the new owner of Basler Austria. By executing this transaction, Helvetia expands its volume in Austria by more than 50percent, and, with its premium volume of approximately EUR400million, becomes one of the Top 10 insurance companies.
New Chairman of the Executive Board
To facilitate the impending integration, the executive bodies of both companies will be staffed with the same people. At an extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting to be held today, the current members of the Supervisory Board of Helvetia Austria will be elected to the Supervisory Board of Basler Austria (Stefan Loacker as Chairman, Paul Norton and Markus Gemperle as members).
From 1October2014, Helvetia Austria will be headed by Otmar Bodner, former Chairman of the Executive Board of Basler Austria. Burkhard Gantenbein, the previous CEO who had already decided at the end of last year to leave the company, will hand over his office as of the end of September. Gantenbein will move on towards new subject areas and challenges outside the field of insurance.
The existing Executive Board of Helvetia Austria, which consists of Jürgen Horstmann (Life Insurance), Thomas Neusiedler (Non-Life) and Werner Panhauser (Sales) will be confirmed and will be supplemented by Josef Gutschik (formerly CFO Basler Austria) as CFO (as of 1September2014). As of 1September2014, the Executive Board of Basler Austria will have the same composition. Gerhard Liegl, formerly Chief Sales Officer (CSO) of Basler Austria, will serve as Head of Agency Sales of Helvetia Austria from 1September2014.
“Basler” to be replaced by “Helvetia”
Basler Austria is to be merged with Helvetia Austria during the first half of 2015. The brand name “Basler” will continue to be used until the end of the year and will subsequently be replaced by “Helvetia”.
Positive performance under Burkhard Gantenbein
Stefan Loacker, CEO of the Helvetia Group and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Helvetia Austria, comments as follows: “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Burkhard Gantenbein for his achievements in connection with the management and development of our business in Austria. He has successfully promoted the company in all areas with a high degree of competence, integrity and credibility. I greatly regret his departure, but I am happy that thanks to the takeover of Basler Austria under his leadership, Helvetia has become one of Austria’s top 10 insurance companies. I am convinced that his successor Otmar Bodner will successfully manage the upcoming integration and promote Helvetia Austria’s positive development on a long-term basis. I wish him and the expanded Executive Board at lot of fun and success.”
This media release is also available on the home page