Bahrain - Europ Assistance (EA), a subsidiary of the Italian global insurer, Generali Group, has announced that it has reached an agreement with Mapfre Asistencia to acquire nearly 75% of the stake in Bahrain-based Gulf Assist.
Founded in 1963, Europ Assistance, the inventor of assistance, supports customers in over 200 countries and territories thanks to our network of 750.000 approved providers and 43 assistance centres.
Gulf Assist also owns Arab Assist in Jordan - where most of its operations and support functions are located -and also has a commercial branch in Dubai.
Mapfre Asistencia is a global insurance, reinsurance and services company founded in Madrid (Spain) in 1989 and operating worldwide with 33 offices across the globe. It is a leader in providing solutions for the insurance sector, including specific solutions for brokers, as well as the financial, automotive industry, travel and tourism sectors.
With this transaction, Europ Assistance has emerged as a new leader in assistance in the Middle East, with a B2B2C operating model that is diversified both in terms of offerings (roadside assistance, travel assistance and insurance, mobile phone insurance) and geographically with income generated in 10 countries in the region including UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Jordan.
Enrique Ballesteros, previously general manager of Gulf Assist, will be incharge for Europ Assistances activities in the Middle East.
The assistance market in the Middle East has a high growth potential especially in the insurance, travel assistance, and automotive assistance sectors, as the region is a growing travel hub as well as home to the 13th largest automobile assistance market in the world.
Additionally, 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 in order to support our global partners and further strengthen our global, multiline and multichannel positioning, aiming at making us the most reliable care company in the world."
Pascal Baumgarten, CEO Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe, Asia and South Africa at Europ Assistance Group, said: "After recent openings in Thailand, Malaysia and Australia, Europ Assistance continues geographical footprint extension, showing 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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