Swiss insurer Baloise has snapped up Securitas, the German insurance company, doubling its market share in Germany.
The new entity, Basler Securitas, will have 1,300 employees and a consolidated premium volume of €680 million (SFr1 billion).
The sale price has been set at €90 million but will be adjusted in line with Securitas' year-end figures for 2002.
Baloise said the acquisition demonstrated its strategy of achieving growth in the German market.
It predicts that its current premium volume in Germany stands to rise by 24 per cent to €1.46 billion, once its German arm, Basler Deutschland, has merged with Securitas.
Baloise said the merger would not "primarily" result in job cuts.
Winfried Anolick, chief executive of Basler Deutschland, will head the new unit whose headquarters will be in Bad Homburg, Germany.
Royal & Sun Alliance, the British owner of Securitas, is reportedly selling the insurer to raise money to cover claims and to avoid going to shareholders for cash.
While the merger is subject to the approval of the competition authorities, Baloise is optimistic that the transaction will be completed in spring 2003.
Premium income brought the Baloise group SFr4.4 billion during the first half of this year.
Securitas recorded a premium volume of €281 million during 2001.
During the same period Basler Deutschland generated €322 million.
swissinfo with agencies