Talanx says market for possible IPO better now

HANOVER, Germany, March 22 Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:36am EDT

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HANOVER, Germany, March 22 (Reuters) - Germany's third-largest insurance group Talanx sees markets as favourable for a possible flotation, but said it is still keeping all its options open.

"The capital market environment is much more attractive than a year ago. But it is up to us if we want to list on the stock exchange," Chief Executive Herbert Haas said at the group's annual conference on Thursday.

Talanx has recently sped up preparations by adding two banks to the team organising its planned flotation, according to a source familiar with the planning.

Citigroup and JP Morgan will help prepare the initial public share offering, which could have a volume of 0.75 billion euros to 1.5 billion euros ($1-2 billion).

Talanx picked Rothschild as the main advisor last year, while Deutsche Bank was nominated to lead the banking consortium, according to sources.

The company, which has mulled an initial public offering for more than a decade, has been gearing up for the move more actively over the last year but has kept quiet on the timing.

A listing, which bankers have said could take place as early as the second quarter, would allow Talanx to take advantage of a market that has become increasingly receptive as debt crisis fears fade and investor risk appetite grows. ($1 = 0.7582 euros) (Reporting by Alexander Huebner; Writing by Arno Schuetze)

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