Assicurazioni Generali, one of the largest insurers in Italy, is in exclusive talks with Grupo BTG Pactual, Latin America's independent investment bank, to divest its Swiss private bank operation BSI Group.
In a statement, the insurer said: "Generali has granted exclusivity to Banco BTG Pactual to conduct negotiations relating to the potential acquisition of the entire share capital of BSI."
The proposed divesture is part of Generali CEO Mario Greco’s strategy to concentrate on the company’s core operations, boost balance sheet and strengthen profitability.
The sale of BSI, a wealth manager headquartered in Switzerland, is expected to fetch approximately €2bn for Italian insurer, thereby helping to achieve its goal of raising €4bn by 2015.
In order to strengthen its liquidity and capital positions, Generali has already offloaded its US reinsurance unit and Mexican businesses in 2013.
Sao Paulo-based BTG Pactual operates as an investment bank, global asset and wealth manager with a market capitalization of $13bn and assets under management of over CHF100bn.
The current divestment of BTG Pactual follows three insurance business sales in 2013. Generali sold out Fata Assicurazioni Danni, in a transaction valued at nearly €179m in November 2013.
In October 2013, the Italian insurance company divested its 49% minority stakes in the Mexican insurance joint ventures (JVs), Seguros Banorte Generali and Pensiones Banorte Generali, to Grupo Financiero Banorte, for $858m (€631m).
Furthermore, it disposed of its US life reinsurance business to French diversified financial service conglomerate SCOR Group, for total gross proceeds of $910m in a combination of cash and collateral.
Image: Generali’s headquarters in Trieste, Italy. Photo courtesy of: Zinn.