The Belgian Competition Authority approves acquisitions of insurance portfolios


On 9 August 2022, the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) approved the acquisition of two different run-off insurance portfolios: the AXA Belgium closed run-off insurance portfolio acquired by Monument Assurance Belgium and the NN Insurance Belgium run-off life insurance portfolio acquired by Athora Belgium.

The first acquisition was notified on 18 July 2022. Monument Assurance Belgium is a Belgian insurance company active in the provision of life insurance policies as well as in the reinsurance sector through its parent company Monument. The latter is a reinsurance company that provides solutions for the management and liquidation of asset-intensive insurance portfolios through reinsurance services or the acquisition of portfolios in run-off.

AXA Belgium is a Belgian insurance company licensed to offer life and non-life insurance products. It is active in insurance, coinsurance and reinsurance of all types of risk, as well as in the management of collective pension funds and capitalisation. Its portfolio consists of traditional life and non-life insurance policies underwritten by AXA Belgium. It is currently in run-off, meaning that the insurance policies that make up the portfolio are no longer available for sale and are being managed until they reach their term.

The second acquisition was notified on 19 July 2022. Athora Belgium is a subsidiary of Athora Group. This large company is a group active in the life insurance and reinsurance sector, entirely focused on the European market. Athora Belgium is active in the provision of some life insurance.

The portfolio is held by NN Insurance Belgium, a Belgian insurance company and subsidiary of the NN Group. The portfolio consists of life insurance policies, as well as certain reinsurance contracts, and the associated assets, liabilities and staff. It is also in run-off.

In two decisions adopted on 9 August 2022, the BCA has concluded that the conditions for the application of the simplified procedure in both acquisitions were fulfilled. Therefore, it authorised both notified operations.

These decisions highlight the fact that the BCA’s control is not limited to sales of limited companies but is also applicable to the acquisition of mere assets such as insurance portfolios, investment funds and rented buildings, as long as they are viable independent economic entities.