By Sophie Sassard and Jessica Toonkel
LONDON/NEW YORK, April 11 (Reuters) - Reinsurance Group of America and French rival Scor 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 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 < and Citigroup declined to comment. Scor and RGA did not reply to requests for comment.
Munich Re, Zurich Insurance, Swiss Re, Hannover Re, RGA and several Bermuda-incorporated reinsurers such as Everest Re were also interested in buying Generali USA..
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.
The Italian insurer, along with European peers such as Aviva , is being forced to restructure to cope with low interest rates, tighter regulation and the weak economic climate.