Zurich Insurance confirms eyeing British rival RSA

28th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

Zurich Insurance confirmed Tuesday that it is interested in acquiring its British rival Royal & Sun Alliance, prompting a surge in RSA's share price.

The Swiss insurance giant said it "confirms that the company is evaluating a potential offer for RSA," while adding that the announcement did "not amount to a firm intention" to bid.

RSA's share price soared 14.32 percent to 500.5 pence in midday trading on the London bourse, which was up only 0.79 percent overall.

On Monday, the Financial Times reported that RSA Insurance's share price was climbing because of speculation swirling over a potential deal with Zurich.

In its online edition on Tuesday the FT cited unnamed informed sources as saying that Zurich Insurance had not yet approached the British group.

One source said Zurich Insurance was planning to offer 550 pence per share, which would add up to a deal worth 5.6 billion pounds (7.9 billion euros, $8.7 billion).

"A takeover of RSA could make sense, adding synergy potential in the UK, a profitable Northern Europe platform and some Latin America reinforcement," said analyst Stefan Schuermann of the Vontobel investment bank.

Zurich Insurance indicated to investors in May that it had a capital surplus of some $3.0 billion that it planned to redeploy by the end of 2016, either through acquisitions or by paying out to shareholders.

© 2015 AFP

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