Prudential in talks to buy AIA

LONDON Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:23pm GMT

The logo of British life insurer Prudential is seen on their building, in London October 21, 2008. REUTERS/Stephen Hird

The logo of British life insurer Prudential is seen on their building, in London October 21, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Stephen Hird

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LONDON (Reuters) - Prudential, Britain's largest insurer, is in advanced talks to buy the Asian operations of bailed-out insurance giant AIG, sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters on Saturday.

Financing for the deal -- which could be worth more than $20 billion (13.1 billion pounds) and would propel Prudential to the top spot among insurers in Asia -- could include a bumper share issue, the sources said.

Prudential declined to comment.

A year ago sources familiar with the matter said that Prudential had made a preliminary offer for AIA, but its modest price fell short of the seller's expectations.

At the time, AIG had wanted between $20 billion and $40 billion for AIA, depending on the size of the stake to be sold.

(Reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)

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