(Adds background, possible sale proceeds)
MILAN Jan 21 Italian insurance group Unipol
has agreed to exclusive talks with Allianz
to sell the German insurer assets carrying premiums worth about
1.2 billion euros ($1.63 billion).
A statement from Unipol and its main operating unit
UnipolSai said they expect to agree a deal by Mar. 15.
Unipol agreed to buy its troubled rival Fondiaria-SAI in 2012
in a complex rescue that created Italy's second-biggest insurer
with about 37 percent of the domestic auto insurance market.
As part of the merger, which was finalised in December, the
Italian antitrust authority ordered the sale of a portfolio of
assets with premiums worth about 1.7 billion euros.
Unipol did not say how much it would raise in the sale, but
Italian newspaper MF said on Tuesday that the insurer could earn
about 500 million euros by selling 1.3 billion euros of the
The assets belong to former Fondiaria unit Milano
Assicurazioni, now part of UnipolSai.
On Jan. 15 Unipol rejected a separate offer from Belgium's
Ageas to buy assets.
For Allianz, Europe's biggest insurer, a deal with Unipol
would mean a further expansion in Italy, where it already ranks
among the top six companies in terms of premium income.
($1 = 0.7383 euros)
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by David Goodman)