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Coface has signed a binding agreement to purchase CNA Credit, a division of CNA Property & Casualty Operations that provides commercial credit protection to companies selling domestically or internationally on credit terms.

According to Coface, this operation, representing a turnover volume of US$60mn, will not significantly modify the risk profile of Coface, which had 2001 turnover of over US$900mn. But, it is good news for customers of both entities, and a milestone in Coface’s North American expansion, claims the group.

Coface’s 83,000 corporate credit management and protection customers worldwide will directly (for their exports to the US) or indirectly (for their US subsidiaries) benefit from CNA Credit’s expertise in underwriting risk on American buyers and providing local service in the United States and Canada. With a 30% share of world GDP, the

  • United States represents a key market worldwide (15 % of EU exports, 25% of Asian exports and 60% of Latin American exports are to the United States.)

    The acquisition, claims the group, will significantly enhance Coface’s ability to deliver industry-leading solutions to companies in the US, by joining together credit management and credit protection solutions: The Coface North American subsidiary provides credit risk management and information products that are ideally suited to complement CNA Credit’s credit protection services. United States credit insurance customers will now benefit from increased synergies with Coface’s teams and tools, particularly its Common Risk System, a unique and high performance credit management system updated in real time and tracking 44 million companies worldwide.

    “We are pleased to enhance our focus on our core credit business,” says Franois David, chairman and chief executive of Coface. “Our strategic vision is to be a world class trade facilitator, and this investment is a natural step towards that goal.”

    “We are excited to now offer all of the credit management tools a company would need to manage trade risk, from information and short and mid term insurance to collection services,” adds Daniel Boccara, president and CEO of Coface Holding North America. “This acquisition will benefit companies with international operations. They can now take advantage of Coface’s global reach and expertise. It will also benefit US companies by providing them with a complete toolkit of services for credit risk mitigation.”

    “This acquisition will bring American companies global solutions, thanks to Coface’s extensive product offering and its unique shared risk management system,” says Mike Ferrante, president of CNA Credit.