France’s three biggest mutual insurance companies have announced plans to merge by the end of 2009.
Matmut, Maif and Macif said the move would “enhance [their] respective positions in an increasingly tense and competitive environment”.
The union of the three companies falls short of an outright merger. Instead, it takes the form of an umbrella holding company, SGAM (societé de groupe d’assurance mutuelle).
All three companies maintained that they would preserve their individual brand identities but would benefit from shared platforms, structures and distribution channels.
The merger will give new life to insurance giant Maif, which has more than 10 million customers (called members) and had sales last year of 9.2 billion euros.
The newly formed SGAM will be particularly strong in the home- and motor-insurance sectors, with 11 million insured vehicles on its books.