Aegon strengthens group pension business with acquisition of OPTAS N.V.

"OPTAS is a life insurer with a unique position in the Dutch ports", said Johan van der Werf, CEO of Aegon The Netherlands.

Aegon has reached an agreement to acquire Rotterdam-based OPTAS N.V., a Dutch life insurance company specializing in employee benefit products and services with a top ten position in the group pension market. The net consideration for Aegon of this transaction is approximately EUR 100 million.

The acquisition of OPTAS will strengthen Aegon's top two position in the group pension market in the Netherlands. OPTAS' strong penetration with companies and employees in the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam will allow Aegon to broaden its overall client base and offers opportunities to provide additional services. The combination of OPTAS and Aegon's existing pension activities will lead to a more efficient platform to serve the group pension market. The transaction will have a slightly positive effect on Aegon N.V.'s earnings per share.

OPTAS N.V., the successor of Stichting Pensioenfonds voor de Vervoer- en Havenbedrijven (a pension fund for companies active in the transport and port industries) was converted into a public company in 1997. At the end of 2005, OPTAS had 60,000 policyholders and reported total gross written premiums of EUR 92 million, with total assets of EUR 4.3 billion. 

\Aegon will acquire OPTAS N.V. for a gross amount of approximately EUR 1.3 billion. Taking into account the excess capital of OPTAS, the net consideration is estimated to be approximately EUR 100 million. A portion of the shareholders' equity of OPTAS is subject to restrictions as set out in the articles of association of the company. These restrictions assure continued fulfillment of existing policy obligations and will remain in force after the acquisition.  

Upon completion of the transaction, OPTAS N.V. will become a subsidiary of Aegon The Netherlands. The transaction is not anticipated to lead to forced redundancies. 

"OPTAS is a life insurer with a unique position in the Dutch ports", said Johan van der Werf, CEO of Aegon The Netherlands. "I am proud that this company will become part of Aegon. We would like to leverage the pension expertise of OPTAS in close cooperation with Aegon The Netherlands to further strengthen the two companies' pension activities. OPTAS' customers can be confident that, working together, Aegon and OPTAS will continue to manage their pension businesses to the highest possible standards." 

"A few years ago, we determined that OPTAS would have to find a partner with a strong position in the group pension business. Aegon is a financially strong and leading pension provider. Its broad distribution capabilities and good relationships within the IFA channel were additional important considerations for OPTAS. I believe this transaction will ensure the long-term development of our business", said Pieter Rietbergen, Managing Director of OPTAS N.V.

This acquisition agreement is subject to the consultation of the Works Councils of both OPTAS and Aegon The Netherlands, in addition to the approvals of the relevant regulatory authorities.