Feb 16 British insurer RSA is looking
for prospective buyers for the sale of one of its Canadian
businesses, which could help the company raise as much as 200
million pounds ($335 million), Sky News reported on Sunday.
RSA has begun the auction of Noraxis Capital Corporation, a
network of Canadian regional insurance brokers, the news service
said, citing unidentified sources.
RSA spokeswoman said a business review was under way and RSA
would announce the outcome on Feb. 27. She declined to comment
on the Sky News story.
Sky News said the sale of Roins Financial Services Ltd's
subsidiary had begun before the insurer's Chief Executive
Stephen Hester took over in early February, and that it has his
Hester, ousted from state-backed RBS in June by Britain's
finance ministry, replaced Simon Lee, who resigned a month
earlier over allegations of accounting irregularities that left
the insurer with a 200 million pound hole in its finances.
Sky News quoted its sources as saying that existing players
in the Canadian insurance market would be among those most
interested in buying Noraxis. A potential sale was being
overseen by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Noraxis members include CG&B Group, Renfrew, Ranger,
Stevenson & Hunt, Atrens Counsel, Fraser & Hoyt and Bell &
Sky News also reported a possible sale of the FTSE-100
company's operations in central and eastern Europe including
businesses in Latvia and Poland, which was being handled by
investment bank UBS.
RSA had previously said it was considering all options to
raise capital that could include the sale of business units.
The Financial Times on Saturday reported that RSA was
sounding out institutional investors to raise as much as 350
million pounds ($585.59 million) in a emergency share placing
that would allow it to avoid a rights issue.
RSA operates in 31 countries across Europe, Asia, Latin
America, Canada and the Middle East.
A senior insurance executive at Hiscox said last week that
insurers in flood-hit Britain might raise premiums if storms
continue to batter the country in the coming weeks.