Generali unit buys major stake in Bahraini group Gulf Assist

Europ Assistance (EA), a subsidiary of Italian global insurer Generali Group, has announced it has reached an agreement with Mapfre Asistencia to acquire nearly 75% of its stake in Bahrain-based Gulf Assist.

Europ Assistance, the inventor of assistance, founded in 1963, supports customers in more than 200 countries and territories thanks to our network of 750,000 authorized service providers and 43 assistance centers.

Gulf Assist also owns Arab Assist in Jordan – where most of its operations and support functions are located – and also has a commercial facility in Dubai.

Gulf Assist is part of Mapfre Asistencia, a global insurance, reinsurance and services company founded in Madrid (Spain) in 1989.

It operates globally, has 33 offices worldwide and is a leader in providing solutions for the insurance industry, including specific solutions for brokerage, as well as the financial, automotive, travel and tourism sectors.

With this transaction, Europ Assistance has emerged as a new leader in assistance in the Middle East, with a B2B2C business model that is diversified both in terms of offerings (roadside assistance, travel assistance and insurance, mobile phone insurance) and geographically with revenue generated in 10 countries in the region including UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Jordan.

Enrique Ballesteros, formerly General Manager of Gulf Assist, will be responsible for Europ Assistance’s activities in the Middle East.

The assistance market in the Middle East has significant growth potential, especially in the insurance, travel assistance and auto assistance sectors, as the region is a growing travel hub and is also home to the 13th largest auto assistance market in the world.

In addition, there is a large underserved market for personal assistance services that can be bundled with insurance offerings, providing opportunities for additional growth in the Middle East market.

Europ Assistance Group CEO Antoine Parisi said: “We are delighted to enter the Middle East market to support our global partners and further strengthen our global, multiline and multichannel positioning, aiming to make us the most trusted healthcare company to make in the world.”

Pascal Baumgarten, CEO Northern, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and South Africa at Europ Assistance Group, said: “Following recent openings in Thailand, Malaysia and Australia, Europ Assistance continues to expand our geographic footprint, enhancing the resilience of our group.”

“We look forward to building on the strong local partnerships and product expertise Gulf Assist has built over the past 30 years,” he added.

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