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ARAG expands business operations in Scandinavia

The ARAG Group of Düsseldorf is stepping up its activities in northern Europe and has acquired a majority interest in its Norwegian affiliate. ARAG increased its interest in HELP Forsikring from the present 44.8 percent to more than 90 percent and aims to become the sole shareholder within yearend. With this move, the Düsseldorf family-owned enterprise is now paving the way for further growth in the Scandinavian market.

“A true legal insurance pioneer in northern Europe, HELP impresses with its entrepreneurial spirit, sustained growth and highly motivated team,” explains Dr. Paul-Otto Faßbender, Chairman and CEO of ARAG SE. We are well aware of the strong potential offered by the Scandinavian markets which we seek to exploit with our strong and international ARAG brand. HELP opens the door to this attractive region for our Group. This move is entirely in line with ARAG SE’s successful internationalization strategy”

HELP Forsikring was founded in Oslo in 2005. With more than 100 employees, the company generated gross premiums written of 184 million NOK in 2012 (around 25 million EUR). Its business is focused primarily on private legal protection insurance. The only insurer in Scandinavia specialized in legal protection, HELP Forsikring markets its products through group policies for trade unions, among other channels. Members of cooperating organizations benefit from customized legal insurance policies which provide coverage in such areas as consumer protection, family and inheritance, identity theft and real estate. The demand for legal insurance for the sale and purchase of real estate is especially strong in Norway.

“We have filled a market niche with considerable success in Norway. Until HELP was founded, legal protection insurance was largely unknown in Norway. Effective legal protection was simply not available in the fields of labor, marital, family and maintenance disputes,” explains Johan Dolven, CEO of HELP Forsikring AS. “As a Scandinavian legal protection pioneer, we have in ARAG an experienced partner with whom we will continue to pursue our strong growth strategy,” adds Johan Dolven.

In addition to its home market in Norway, HELP has also been actively engaged as a market pioneer in Sweden since May 2012 and offers group policies for trade union members there as well.

ARAG SE is acquiring the shares from a group of financial investors. The selling shareholders include Ferd Capital and Storebrand Livsforsikring, who have backed the company since it was established in 2005. The purchase is subject to approval by the supervisory authorities.