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15.10.2003

Bank Austria Creditanstalt reduces its stakes in CA Versicherung AG and Union Versicherungs-Aktiengesellschaft

Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) is reducing its stakes in CA Versicherung AG and Union Versicherungs-Aktiengesellschaft (UNION) to 10 per cent each.

CA Versicherung AG is currently held by Wiener Städtische Allgemeine Versicherung AG (WSV) and BA-CA in equal portions of 50 per cent each. WSV will acquire from BA-CA a 40 per cent stake in CA Versicherung AG and thus hold a total of 90 per cent in the company.

UNION is currently held in equal portions of 33.3 per cent each by BA-CA, WSV and ERGO International Aktiengesellschaft (ERGO-Versicherung). Under a syndicate agreement ERGO-Versicherung has a right of first refusal in respect of 50 per cent of BA-CA's shareholding offered for sale. If ERGO-Versicherung exercises its option, WSV will acquire from BA-CA an 11.65 per cent stake in UNION, otherwise all of BA-CA's 23.3 per cent shareholding on sale.

By selling part of its shareholdings in the two insurance companies BA-CA continues its strategy of systematically shifting the focus on its core activities. However, BA-CA will retain a stake of 10 per cent in each of them in order to ensure continuity in the sales cooperations.

Subject to the approval of the antitrust authorities, the closing of the transactions will probably take place in the fourth quarter of 2003. BA-CA will realise a book profit of approx. EUR 75 million on the transactions, part of which will be allocated to a restructuring provision for one-off expenses to press ahead with the further cost-cutting programme.