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Swiss Re may postpone $4.1 billion ReAssure IPO – sources

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By Reuters
Swiss Re may postpone $4.1 billion ReAssure IPO – sources
FILE PHOTO: The logo of insurance company Swiss Re is seen in front of its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd WIegmann   -   Copyright  ARND WIEGMANN(Reuters)
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By Arno Schuetze, Pamela Barbaglia and Clara Denina

FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) – Swiss Re <SRENH.S> is considering postponing or restructuring the $4.1 billion (£3.3 billion) London listing of its UK life insurance business due to limited investor appetite, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

A final decision on whether to press ahead with the initial public offering (IPO) of ReAssure, which would cut Swiss Re’s stake in ReAssure to below 50% from 75%, will be taken later on Wednesday, the sources told Reuters.

A spokeswoman for Swiss Re, the world’s second-largest reinsurer, declined to comment.

Swiss Re had set a price range of 2.80 to 3.30 pounds per share for ReAssure, which would give Britain’s sixth largest life insurer a market value of 2.8 billion to 3.3 billion pounds.

Yet the final pricing of the IPO, which was expected to be ironed out on Wednesday, had yet to be completed, the sources said, adding the deal risked being scrapped.

One of the sources doubted that Swiss Re would be able to finalise ReAssure’s market debut on Thursday, as initially planned.

“The IPO environment is far from easy and some recent listings have performed poorly,” said another source, adding that postponing the deal was under consideration.

Zurich-based Swiss Re wants to spin off ReAssure to put the business under a more favourable regulatory regime and give it easier access to capital to fund its expansion.

It hired Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and UBS to work as joint global coordinators, while BNP Paribas and HSBC acted as joint bookrunners.

(Additional reporting by Tom Sims in Frankfurt; Editing by Alexander Smith)