Generali says may repay debt with disposal proceeds

LONDON Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:30am EST

LONDON Jan 14 (Reuters) - Generali, Europe's third-biggest insurer, could use the proceeds of a series of planned disposals to pay off debt, helping to lower its higher-than-average borrowings, it said on Monday.

"Disposal proceeds might also be used partially to repay debt," Generali said in a presentation slide at an investor conference on Monday.

Generali plans to raise 4 billion euros ($5.34 billion) by the end of 2015 through asset sales, including its BSI Swiss private bank and its life reinsurance arm in the United States, Chief Executive Mario Greco said earlier.

The insurer, which on Monday unveiled a three-year reorganisation plan aimed at bolstering its flagging financial performance through a mixture of cost cuts and asset sales, has a high debt to equity ratio relative to its closest competitors, it said.

The insurer may issue bonds to investors in the U.S. and Singapore, and could also raise debt finance from retail investors to diversify its sources of funding, it added.