* Sales a condition of merger with Fondiaria-SAI
* Asset portfolio sale to be completed before end-2013
* To sell Generali stake by end 2012, Mediobanca in 2013
* Merger with Fondiaria to be completed by early July
By Stephen Jewkes
MILAN, Nov 14 Italian insurer Unipol
has received a series of offers for assets it needs to sell to
meet conditions laid down by the competition regulator for
clearance of a merger with peer Fondiaria-SAI.
"Our adviser has received various formal and informal
manifestations of interest," Unipol Chief Executive Carlo Cimbri
told analysts on a conference call on Wednesday.
Press reports have said French group AXA SA,
German insurer Allianz SE and Switzerland's Zurich
Insurance Group are among those interested in the
Axa wants to grow in Italy, an important market for the
group, the CEO of Gruppo AXA MPS, Frederic de Courtois, told
Reuters in October.
The merger of Unipol and Fondiaria will create Italy's No. 2
Cimbri said the assets would be sold before the end of next
Italy's antitrust regulator has called on Unipol to sell
portfolio assets worth 1.7 billion euros ($2.16 billion) so as
not to exceed a 30 percent threshold in various domestic
Fondiaria is Italy's leading motor insurer. Combining it
with Unipol would create a company with about 37 percent of this
segment and 32 percent of the non-life insurance market.
In October Unipol said it had filed an appeal with an
Italian court seeking a review of regulatory requirements it
considered too penalising.
Unipol agreed last January to rescue Fondiaria in a complex
deal, brokered by top investment house Mediobanca,
that will create a group to compete with Italy's No. 1 insurer,
The antitrust regulator has called on the new group to sell
stakes it has in both Generali and Mediobanca.
Cimbri told analysts a stake in Generali will be sold by the
end of this year while a 3.8 percent stake in Mediobanca will be
disposed of in 2013.
Unipol has already taken control of Fondiaria by taking a
controlling stake in holding company Premafin
following a series of capital increases designed to strengthen
undercapitalised balance sheets.
Cimbri said he expected the merger with Fondiaria to be
completed at the beginning of July 2013.
Earlier on Wednesday Unipol said the solvency margin of the
combined group at the end of September was 1.6 times regulatory