LONDON/MILAN, April 8 Europe's third-biggest insurer Generali has moved closer to selling its U.S. life reinsurance unit as it shortlisted two among a large number of bidders, two people with direct knowledge of the situation said on Monday.
The selected bidders are French reinsurer Scor and a U.S. rival, said one of the people who asked not to be named because the talks are private.
Financial Italian daily Sole 24 Ore earlier reported that Scor and a U.S. player were in pole position to acquire Generali US.
Munich Re, Zurich Insurance, Swiss Re, Hannover Re, US rival RGA and a bunch of Bermuda-incorporated reinsurers such as Everest Re were also interested to buy Generali US.
Generali's new Chief executive Mario Greco aims to raise 4 billion euros from non-core asset sales to shore up capital and restore value after long-standing CEO Giovanni Perissinotti was ousted by disappointed investors led by Mediobanca.
The insurer is hoping to secure $800m to $1bn for Generali US and about 2 billion euros ($2.60 billion) for its private bank BSI, which it is also selling.
It said on Friday it has already reaped a capital gain of 143 million euros ($186.14 million) from the sale of a stake in its asset management arm Banca Generali.
The Italian insurer, along with European peers such as Aviva , is being forced to restructure to cope with low interest rates, tighter regulation and the weak economic climate.
Generali declined to comment while Scor was not immediately available for comment.