Posted on 11 Apr 12
Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, one of the largest property and casualty insurers in the world, today announced the acquisition of Russian insurance company KIT Finance Insurance from KIT Finance Holding Company (LLC), the ultimate owners of which are JSC "Russian Railways" and NPF "Blagosostoyanie" (the pension fund company of Russian Railways). The acquisition enables Liberty Mutual to enter Russia's $21 billion property and casualty insurance market.
KIT Finance Insurance began operations in mid-2008 as a direct distribution insurer providing primarily automobile and property insurance in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Since then KIT Finance Insurance has become a multi-line, multi-distribution channel company with its own sales force as well as multiple bancassurance and affinity partnerships.
The parties have not disclosed the financial terms of the agreement, though KIT Finance Holding Company stated that the proceeds will be used to repay a loan of "Russian Railways" to KIT Finance Investment Bank.
"We believe KIT Finance Insurance provides an attractive platform from which to invest in the rapidly growing Russian non-life insurance market," said David H. Long, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group president and chief executive officer. "It's a dynamic company with a driven management team as indicated by annual growth of twenty-seven percent."
Headquartered in St. Petersburg, KIT Finance Insurance wrote nearly $50 million (USD) in gross written premium in 2011, with approximately 63 percent coming from automobile insurance. The company recently expanded operations into the Russian cities of Novosibirsk, Perm, Orel and Krasnoyarsk.
Liberty Mutual Insurance Group reported net written premium as of December 31, 2011 of
$31.2 billion, of which $8.2 billion, or 26 percent, came from its International operations.
KIT Finance Insurance joins Liberty Mutual's International local business operations that sell to individuals and businesses in three geographic regions: Europe, including Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Poland, Ireland and now Russia; Latin America, including Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Chile; and, Asia, including Thailand, Singapore, China (including Hong Kong) and Vietnam. Private passenger automobile insurance is the single largest line of business for Liberty Mutual's International country operations.