MAPFRE completes the acquisition of Commerce and reinforces its business in the USA
5 ( 3 votes )

MAPFRE and THE COMMERCE GROUP have announced today the completion of the acquisition of 100 per cent of the share capital of the US insurer by MAPFRE. The transaction, with a value of $2,211 million, and announced in October 2007, represents a decisive step in the international expansion of the Spanish group and the largest investment in its history.

“This is an important day in the history of MAPFRE,” said Mr. José Manuel Martínez Martínez, MAPFRE’s Chairman. “Not only is the acquisition of COMMERCE the largest in the history of our Group, it also fits perfectly with MAPFRE´s growth strategy and commitment to convert itself into a global insurance group. Furthermore, it represents a decisive step in its international expansion, especially in its commitment to the United States. We want to welcome COMMERCE’s employees, agents, clients and suppliers to our group, and encourage them to continue trusting and growing on the shared values that have brought our companies together”.

COMMERCE’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Gerald Fels said “Becoming a part of the MAPFRE Group benefits all of COMMERCE’s stakeholders. Mr. Fels highlighted “We are proud that we have grown our company from a small operation in 1971 to a $2 billion business, which today becomes part of one of the world’s leading insurance groups. This transaction reinforces the commitment of our founder, our shareholders, executives, and employees over the last 37 years to building a world-class business.”

As expected, and having received all the relevant regulatory authorisations, COMMERCE shareholders will receive $36.70 per share. MAPFRE will maintain COMMERCE’s current management team and its approximately 2.400 employees, with no changes in the workforce, which will all be integrated into the MAPFRE Group retaining all of their current rights. Furthermore, COMMMERCE’s headquarters will remain in Webster (Massachusetts), and will continue operations in this State and the others in which the company and currently undertakes its business, while the expansion into other States will be analysed over time. “COMMERCE’s strong, committed and hard working independent agents network were critical considerations in our decision to acquire this entity“, said Mr. José Manuel Martínez.

THE COMMERCE GROUP ranks as the 20th largest Motor insurer of the USA, with premiums close to €1,210 million ($1,900 million). In Massachusetts, COMMERCE is leader in Non-life insurance lines. In addition, the group has subsidiaries in California, Ohio and New York. Currently, it is undertaking an expansion plan outside of its home State, for which it holds licences in all 50 States of the Union. COMMERCE and its subsidiaries are rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best.

MAPFRE is the largest Spanish insurance group and has a presence in 43 countries, especially in direct insurance, reinsurance and assistance markets in Latin America, where it is the largest in Non-life insurer. The MAPFRE Group, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2008, has more than 31,000 employees and over 13 million clients around the world. In 2007, MAPFRE achieved a net result of over €730 million, with revenues above €15,200 million.