Freshfields advises Italian insurer Generali on its venture

International law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has advised Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. (“Generali”) on its joint venture (“JV”) with PPF Group N.V. (“PPF”), which combines their Central and Eastern European businesses in twelve countries to create one of the region’s leading insurers.

The new joint venture, Generali PPF Holding BV, will have assets of €5.1bn, a premium income of €2.6bn and more than 9 million clients throughout the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia and Kazakhstan. Definitive documentation for the JV was entered into by Generali and PPF on 10 July and completion, which is conditional on receipt of necessary regulatory approvals, is expected by the end of 2007.

Generali will pay PPF €1.1bn in cash, in addition to its contribution of assets, for a 51 per cent share of the JV, whilst PPF will own the remaining 49 per cent.

The creation of the joint venture is integral to the two groups’ expansion strategies and creates opportunities for further growth in the region.

Freshfields’ corporate partner Philip Richards led the team from London, with partners Vanessa Turner (antitrust competition & trade, Brussels), Tommaso Salonico (ACT, Rome), Dirk-Jan Smit (corporate, Amsterdam), Stefano Sennhauser (finance, Milan) and Raffaele Lener (corporate, Rome), plus associates George Swan, Alvaro Iza, Joost van der Linden, Elena Pagnoni, Edwin Sieswerda and Giovanni Barone.

Freshfields acted alongside the Italian law firms MBL Partners & Co of Milan and International Business Lawyers Associated of Verona as well as Havel & Holásek of the Czech Republic in advising Generali.

DATE: 13 July 2007