Touring is acquired 75% by AG and 25% by BNP Paribas Fortis. Its insurance products are integrated into the AG portfolio, but continue to be offered under the Touring brand.
AG and BNP Paribas Fortis buy Touring. Forsikringsselskabet AG becomes a shareholder in Touring SA up to 75%. The BNPPF bank takes 25% of the shares. The transaction amount was not announced by the actors in this operation. The three companies concerned had already been partners for several years. They are now strengthening their bond. Touring, which retains some autonomy, will now operate under the dome of the two heavyweights banking and insurance.
“To remain a leader in the sector, Touring must create synergies and develop a true mobility ecosystem. To do this, we need to rely on solid partners.”
For the Touring company, it is the beginning of a new era. “The arrival of electric vehicles, shared mobility, the autonomous cars of tomorrow… All these changes are shaking the market. To remain a leader in the sector, Touring must create synergies and develop a true mobility ecosystem. To do this, we have to rely on solid partners like AG and BNP Paribas Fortis”, explains Bruno de Thibault, CEO of Touring. The boss, who remains in his position in the new organizational chart, emphasizes that all its competitors are already integrated into large groups. “Allianz, Axa, KBC… All these players have their own subsidiary that is active with assistance. In Belgium, Touring is the only assistance unit that has remained autonomous and independent”, points out Bruno de Thibault.
In the new organization, Touring retains a certain autonomy. Aktieselskabet Touring remains an independent company. But it will be a subsidiary of the AG group. The entire insurance portfolio is now integrated in AG. Breakdown products for vehicles (cars, motorcycles, bicycles, etc.), glass repair (Touring Glass) and travel insurance (assistance abroad, cancellation insurance, baggage insurance) become AG products. But they will be still marketed under the Touring brand. It must be said that the Touring brand – which is over 125 years old – remains a strong brand, known to many Belgians. Its vehicle assistance covers 2.8 million people. Each year, the company carries out around 680,000 repairs.
“This operation allows us to differentiate ourselves in mobility and offer the best service to our customers.”
For the insurance company AG, this operation strengthens the already existing relations with Touring, which is the group’s cooperation partner for roadside assistance. “Our insurance covers 1.5 million cars. This is a very important sector for us, which is constantly developing. This operation allows us to differentiate ourselves in the field of mobility and offer the best service to our customers,” emphasizes Heidi Delobelle, CEO of AG.
AG thus not only becomes the main shareholder in Touring, but the insurance company also integrates Touring’s activities into its portfolio. However, BNP Paribas Fortis, which will become a 25% shareholder in Touring, will have no operational role in the new structure. However, the bank will continue to offer insurance via its partner AG and will therefore still offer Touring products indirectly.
However, BNP Paribas Fortis takes a larger share in Optimal, a software company specializing in multimodality. This Ghent-based company equips more than 200,000 charging stations for electric vehicles in Europe. Optimile was owned one third by Touring, one third by AG, one third by BNPPF. From now on, BNPPF will be 75% shareholder, AG 25%.
The non-profit organization Touring Club, in turn, is not subject to the AG’s and BNPPF’s control. This historic motorist defense association remains independent. The managing director of Touring SA, Bruno de Thibault, will join the board for this anyway lobby structure that maintains around ten employees highest.
A non-profit organization for commercial activities
At the same time, all commercial activities still managed by Touring vzw are transferred to NV Touring. It is a quirk of the insurance company’s organization: the association manages certain commercial activities in Touring, especially the important niche of vehicle repair. Of the 237 million euros in revenue in Touring, 102 million is generated via the association. This discrepancy, which complicated the takeover operation and prolonged the discussions, disappears in the new organization.
The last part of the activity affected by the takeover is technical control. Touring operates 18 technical control centers and 6 driving test centers. This activity, which employs around 700 people, is fully transferred to AGwhich takes 100% control over it.
In insurance, Touring employs around 600 employees. The takeover will have no impact on the staff, assure the three main people. The operation still needs to be validated by the regulatory authorities. It is expected to be completed in mid-2023.