Skandia “can remain independent”

Skandia chief executive Hans-Erik Andersson said in a newspaper interview the Swedish insurer, an acquisition target for a slew of companies, can survive independently without being acquired.

Commenting on talks about a possible takeover of the company, Andersson told German daily Die Welt: “It is … clear — and this has been confirmed by the supervisory board — that Skandia can stand on its own feet with its current strategy.”

But he admitted that “an acquisition is always possible, after all we are a listed company”.

The comments come after UK-listed South Africa-based insurer Old Mutual PLC information director James Poole was quoted in the press as saying the company is very interested, and very serious about buying the whole of Skandia.

Andersson also told Die Welt that the company is focusing on organic growth rather than acquisitions.

“We have hardly any experience with acquisitions. We are good, however, at establishing new companies. That’s why I believe that we will continue to grow organically,” Andersson said.

He said Skandia has a “relatively narrow business model” that does not correspond to the strategies of most of the other insurers, while those with similar business models “are not of interest to us”

“We have been offered companies to acquire, but most of them did not fit into our concept,” the CEO added. (AFP)