Italy’s Generali to sell US unit to restore profitability

Italy’s biggest insurer Generali is planning to sell its US life reinsurance business, and has appointed Citigroup to advise on the deal.

According to press reports, the unit Generali USA Life Reinsurance could be put up for sale for a value between $800m and $1bn.

The sale process is still in its early stages, but sale documents could be sent to potential buyers in September.

The decision to sell the US unit is part of a restructuring plan announced by chief executive Mario Greco to restore the profitability of the banking and insurance giant.

Greco was appointed in the role in August, following the decision of Generali’s main investors to oust the former chief executive Giovanni Perissinotto, after four consecutive quarters of losses.

The decision to exit the US market has already been taken by a number of European insurers over the last months.

At the beginning of August, UK insurer Aviva announced the decision to sell its US business Aviva USA, as part of a wider disposal plan.

Guggenheim Life, the insurance arm of investment firm Guggenheim Partners LLC, has been reported as the most likely buyer for the unit, for which it could pay about £800m.

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