Austrian insurance group, Uniqa Versicherungen AG, said it was on track to meet its strategic objective to become Bulgarias Vitosha sole shareholder.

On Wednesday, the company raised its shareholding in the Bulgarian insurer from 20 to 51 per cent, said Uniqa managing board member and manager of the groups Bulgarian operations, Andreas Brandstetter.

Uniqas plans are to continue with the step-wise equity increase to 75 per cent in 2008 and 100 per cent by 2011, the official added.

Currently, investment fund Equest is holding a stake just short of 49 per cent in Vitosha. Five small sharholders hold a combined 0.5-per-cent stake.

Now that Uniqa has gained majority interest in Vitosha, the Bulgarian company will finalise the rebranding procedure and adopt the name of the parent company. Vitosha offered products under the two brand names for a year to ensure smooth shift to the new corporate identity.

Last year, Vitosha ended with BGN 82.2 million in revenues, up 29 per cent on the year. Of the total, BGN 66.4 million were attributable to general insurance premium and the remainder, BGN 15.8 million to life insurance premiums.

The combined asset base of Vitosha and Vitosha life stood at BGN 90 million, while reserves totaled BGN 55 milllion.