| LONDON/NEW YORK
LONDON/NEW YORK Reinsurance Group of America (RGA.N) and French rival Scor (SCOR.PA) are competing to acquire Generali USA in a deal worth up to $1 billion, five sources with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.
Generali (GASI.MI) has selected the two bidders among a large number for its U.S. life reinsurance unit and is hoping to close a deal in May, said the sources who asked not to be named because the talks are private.
Italian financial daily Sole 24 Ore earlier reported that Scor and a U.S. player were in pole position to acquire Generali US, without naming the U.S. rival.
Generali and its financial advisers Mediobanca <(MDBI.MI) and Citigroup (C.N) declined to comment. Scor and RGA did not reply to requests for comment.
Munich Re (MUVGn.DE), Zurich Insurance, Swiss Re SRENH.VX, Hannover Re (HNRGn.DE), RGA and several Bermuda-incorporated reinsurers such as Everest Re (RE.N) were also interested in buying Generali USA. [ID:nL6E8JNF7Y].
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 USA and about 2 billion euros ($2.62 billion) for its private bank BSI, which it is also selling.
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 (BGN.MI).
The Italian insurer, along with European peers such as Aviva (AV.L), is being forced to restructure to cope with low interest rates, tighter regulation and the weak economic climate.
(Reporting by Sophie Sassard and Jessica Toonkel; Editing by Sinead Cruise and Helen Massy-Beresford)