NETHERLANDS - Aegon has started negotiations with Poland's BRE Bank SA on a possible merger of their two Polish pension funds and the eventual acquisition by Aegon of the combined fund.
As part of the talks, it is thought BRE would grant Aegon the option to acquire BRE Bank’s shareholding in the merger of the pension portfolios called PTE Ergo Hestia SA and PTE Skarbiec-Emerytura SA.
The final agreements would be subject to approvals from the Polish Financial Supervision Commission (KNF) and the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP).
Currently, BRE Bank owns 100% of the shares and voting rights in PTE Skarbiec –Emerytura SA fund, which manages the accounts of over 440,000 members.
The negotiations between Aegon and BRE are believed to be part of Aegon’s strategy of expanding its presence in the markets of Central and Eastern Europe.
Global Pensions previously reported Aegon’s agreement with Ergo Hestia to purchase a 100% stake of the pension fund management company PTE Ergo Hestia in Poland for €658m.
At the time, AEGON said the retirement needs of the Polish market were growing, while the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region as a whole continued to prove a key market for the life insurance and pension company.
Gregory Tucker, a spokesman for AEGON, said the firm launched the talks with BRE Bank SA because it regarded Central and Eastern Europe as an important region.
Tucker said: "We see a great opportunity given the developing economies there and the introduction of mandatory pension systems."
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