(Adds stake value, capital gain)
MILAN, April 4 (Reuters) - Europe’s third-biggest insurer Generali said it reaped a capital gain of 143 million euros ($184 million) from the sale of a stake in its asset management arm Banca Generali.
Generali sold 12 percent of the asset manager to institutional investors at 13.55 euros per share, 7.6 percent less than Wednesday’s closing price, for a total of 185.2 million euros. The book value of the stake was 4 euros per share.
“The discount was at the high end of the reported range, but the news is positive for Generali because it increases the probability that Generali will hit the targets in its new business plan,” said an analyst at ICBPI.
In March new Generali chief Mario Greco took steps to clean up the Italian insurer’s balance sheet, part of a turnaround plan to boost the group’s profitability. Greco aims to raise 4 billion euros from asset sales.
Generali, along with rival European insurers such as Aviva , is being forced to restructure to cope with low interest rates, tighter regulation and the weak economic climate.
Banca Generali shares were trading down 5.2 percent at 13.82 euros by 0820 GMT. The stake sale sees Generali’s stake in Banca Generali fall to 51.3 percent from 63.5 percent. ($1 = 0.7783 euros)
Reporting by Jennifer Clark, Elisa Anzolin and Maria Pia Quaglia; Editing by David Goodman