German court approves Gerling sale

The Gerling group said it would finally sell its reinsurance operations to a company controlled by ...

The Gerling group said it would finally sell its reinsurance
operations to a company controlled by Achim Kann after a court ended an
attempt by Germany's financial regulator to halt the sale.


However, the German (re)insurance group has yet to win approval for the
sale from regulators in the US, the UK and Australia. "We assume that the
foreign supervisory authorities, too, will now quickly approve the sale of
our reinsurance operations," said Gerling's executive board chairman Bjorn
Jansli. "We are having talks with them; we are quite confident," said
Gerling.


The Gerling non-life reinsurance operation is in run-off although the life
reinsurance operation is still underwriting. The sale of the reinsurance
operations is seen as essential to the survival of the remaining Gerling
operations. Gerling made a loss of EUR739m in 2002, largely due to losses
at Gerling Global Re.


The German regulator, the Bundesanstalt fur Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht
(BaFin), had banned the sale of Gerling Global Re to Mr Kann's Lago Achte
company but the Frankfurt Administrative Court said the ban was
unlawful.


BaFin's appeal against that decision was dismissed by the Hessen Higher
Administrative Court in Kassel.
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