Business news from Ukraine


FFHL Group Ltd., a subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (Canada), a financial services holding company headquartered in Toronto (Canada), on November 6, 2019 acquired a controlling stake in Universalna insurance company (Kyiv), according to the insurer’s website. The company also reports that as a result of the transaction, no changes are planned in the operating activities of Universalna insurance Company, and all insurance contracts remain valid in accordance with the conditions under which they were concluded.
In addition, under this agreement, no additional actions are required from the clients or partners of Universalna, and the company continues its operations.
As reported, at the beginning of October 2019 FFH Ukraine Holdings LLC (Kyiv) announced its intention to acquire 136.021 million shares, or 70.58% of the charter capital of Universalna insurance company. It was planned to purchase shares at a nominal value of UAH 1 per share.
Universalna insurer was founded in 1991. It specializes in providing services in the field of risk insurance. It offers services on 42 types of insurance, the regional network has more than 300 sales points throughout Ukraine.



The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) has provided permission to Canadian Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited to acquire PJSC Universalna insurance company (Kyiv) via subsidiary of FFHL Group Ltd. FFH Ukraine LCC, which would grant over 25% of the votes in the management body of the insurance company. According to a regulator’s posting on its website, the committee also permited Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited to acquire shares in Universalna insurer via newly created FFH Ukraine Holdings LLC, which would grant 50% of the votes in the management body of the insurance company.
Besides, the AMCU permitted to acquire shares in the share capital of FFH Ukraine Holdings LLC by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which would grant 25% of the votes in the management body of the company.
In addition, the regulator granted a permit for agreed actions to Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited and Whiteford Limited (Cyprus) in the form of liabilities to refrain from competition and the ban to drain human resources away from the companies for the period of five years.
According to the National Commission on Securities and the Stock Market, Whiteford Limited is a holder of 42.3358% of shares of Universalna as of second quarter of 2019.
For Fairfax, the acquisition of Universalna insurance company will not be the first asset in Ukraine. Earlier in February 2019, the company already bought two of its Ukrainian subsidiaries, AXA Insurance and AXA Life Insurance, from the French AXA Group. Three years earlier, Fairfax acquired 100% of the insurance company QBE Ukraine (and changed its name to Colonnade Ukraine).
Universalna was founded in 1991. The company specializes in providing services in the field of risk insurance, its regional network has more than 300 offices.
According to the results of the first half of 2019, the company collected UAH 490.311 million in gross insurance premiums (17.4% compared to the previous year) and paid UAH 127.2 million (+11.4%) to customers.
The authorized capital of the company is UAH 192.7 million, with liquid assets of UAH 125.006 million (decreased by 32.73%). Deposits in the amount of UAH 293 million are on the company’s accounts.

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Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited Group LTD (FFHL Group LTD) acquired 99.98% of the equity capital of the insurance company (IC) AXA Insurance (Kyiv) for $16.24 million. Some 26,193,416 shares with a nominal value of UAH 10 each were purchased at a price of $0.62 (UAH 16.55) per share at the official forex rate of the National Bank of Ukraine, the insurer said in an official statement.
Before FFHL Group LTD took possession of the dominant controlling stake, the company and its affiliates were not owners, they did not directly or indirectly own the shares of IC AXA Insurance.
As reported, AXA Group (France) successfully completed a deal with Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited to sell its subsidiaries in Ukraine, Private Joint Stock Company (PrJSC) Insurance Company AXA Insurance and Additional Liability Company (ALC) Insurance Company AXA Life Insurance (both are based in Kyiv).
IC AXA Insurance has been in the Ukrainian insurance market since 2007. The company has more than 780 employees and 1,220 agents throughout Ukraine. At the end of last year, the company collected UAH 1.9 billion in insurance premiums, which was 13% up on 2017.
AXA Life Insurance was registered in July 2013. Its premiums at the end of last year amounted to UAH 93 million, which was 57% up on 2017.
Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, headquartered in Toronto (Canada), has been engaged in insurance, reinsurance and investment management since 1985.