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Grupo Catalana Occidente to acquire Grupo Previsora Bilbaína

Grupo CatalanaOccidente SA said April 6 that it agreed to acquire Grupo PrevisoraBilbaína, including its insurance business for €74 million, insurance mediationcompany Azkaran for €18 million and Bilbaína's funeral business for €33 million.

The group said the acquisition will strengthen its positionin the funeral insurance sector, increasing its market share to more than 5%.The greatest gains in market share will come in the Basque country and in theSpanish regions of Asturias and Cantabria.

The deal is subject to approval by Spain's GeneralDirectorate for Insurance and Pension Funds and the National Authority forMarkets and Competition.