“We would never go after anybody against their will; never.”
These were the words of Allianz chief executive Oliver Bäte, as reported by the Financial Times, while talking about possible mergers and acquisitions. According to the report, the insurance boss believes large deals within the financial services industry would not succeed without the support of both sides – ruling out hostile takeovers in its hunt for firms to snap up.
The German insurance giant, which reported €11.1 billion in operating profit for 2017, has made significant strategic strides such as its joint venture with British provider LV=, creating the third largest personal insurer in the UK. Meanwhile its recent swoop for the remaining shares of Paris-headquartered Euler Hermes was described as “earnings per share accretive immediately”.
As for further deals, particularly transformative ones, the search appears to not have been easy for Allianz. In addition, the report cited Bäte as naming these two hurdles: rising takeover premiums and high stock market valuations.
“We’ve decided that we have not found yet the attractive asset to make us comfortable to plough out a lot of money,” Bäte told the publication, which noted the CEO’s openness to the prospect of a “merger of equals”.