Europ Assistance (“EA”), a subsidiary of the Generali Group, today announced the acquisition from MAPFRE Asistencia of a 74.6% stake in Bahrain based Gulf Assist WLL; Gulf Assist also owns Arab Assist WLL in Jordan (where most of its operations and support functions are located) and has a commercial branch in Dubai.
With this transaction Europ Assistance becomes the 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 United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Jordan).
Europ Assistance has acquired a majority stake (alongside strong local partners, in particular insurers) in a trusted, nearly 30-year old client-focused organization with over 80 employees based in 3 countries.
Enrique Ballesteros, previously General Manager of Gulf Assist, will run the activities of Europ Assistance 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.
For Antoine Parisi, CEO of Europ Assistance Group: “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.”
For Pascal Baumgarten, CEO Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe, Asia and South Africa at Europ Assistance Group: “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.”