AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch insurer Delta Lloyd has hired external advisors to prepare a bid for the insurance operations of financial services company SNS Reaal, newspaper de Telegraaf reported on Monday.
The insurance arm of SNS Reaal, which was renamed Vivant after SNS Reaal was nationalized last year, is estimated to be worth between 700 million and 1 billion euros ($923.73 billion - $1.32 billion), the newspaper said, without naming sources.
The Dutch insurance sector, with six major competitors, is ripe for consolidation after a wave of bailouts resulting from the 2008 financial crisis.
SNS Reaal was required to split off its insurance operations and sell them as a condition of its $5 billion bailout in 2013.
Main competitor ING Bank [INGBK.UL] spun off and listed NN Group, its insurance arm, earlier this year in order to fulfill one of the conditions imposed on the bancassurer when it was bailed out.
SNS Reaal's insurance activities posted sharply lower net profit, excluding one-off items, of 124 million euros last year, compared to 402 million euros in 2012.
The newspaper said Delta Lloyd had hired former SNS Reaal chief financial officer Ference Lamp, who now works for Merrill Lynch in Amsterdam.
Delta Lloyd declined to comment. Calls to SNS Reaal were not immediately returned.
Reporting By Anthony Deutsch and Thomas Escritt, editing by Louise Heavens