By Oliver Hirt and Alexander Hübner
ZURICH (Reuters) -Zurich Insurance Group is selling its life insurance legacy back book portfolio in Germany to Viridium Holding, the companies announced on Friday.
Viridium, which specialises in managing such portfolios, said the deal involves around 724,000 policies and 21 billion euros ($22.12 billion) in assets under management.
It will pay a bit less than 500 million euros to Zurich as part of the agreement, said a person with knowledge of the matter.
"This is, perhaps, the most important step in our efforts to reduce the capital intensity of Zurich's legacy life portfolios and to lower our exposure to interest rates," said Zurich's chief financial officer George Quinn.
Viridium, which is backed by Cinven and Hannover Re, was the buyer of the majority of Italian insurer Generali's German life insurance unit in 2019. The Zurich portfolio is its fifth such purchase in eight years.
Viridium said that with the Zurich deal, its portfolio will grow to 4.5 million policies and 92 billion euros in assets under management.
($1 = 0.9493 euros)
(Writing by Tom Sims; Editing by Miranda Murray)