March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Talanx AG, Germany’s third-biggest insurer, has retained Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. as managers for its initial public offering, which may happen as early as the first half, said people with knowledge of the plans.
The IPO could raise about 750 million euros ($992 million), said two of the people, who declined to be identified as the plans are private. The banks will join Deutsche Bank AG, with Rothschild advising Talanx on the IPO. While the amount and timing of the sale will depend on market conditions, it could take place as soon as the second quarter, the people said.
Talanx is moving ahead with IPO plans after the Dutch cable company Ziggo NV and Switzerland’s DKSH Holding Ltd. completed share sales that combined raised $2 billion this week. European companies are tapping capital markets again as the region’s stocks rebound, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index gaining about 10 percent this year.
Talanx, based in Hanover, has been talking about selling shares in an IPO for more than a decade to help fund the international expansion of its retail business.
Spokesmen at Talanx, Citigroup and JPMorgan declined to comment on the IPO plans.
Talanx’s IPO would be Germany’s largest since the port operator Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG’s stock sale in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
In 2010, Talanx sold a 300 million-euro bond to Japan’s Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co., which will be converted into shares in the event of an IPO. The German insurer is fully owned by the mutual insurer HDI Haftpflichtverband der Deutschen Industrie VaG.
Talanx said in December that it would buy a controlling stake in the Polish insurer Europa SA from Getin Holding SA, while Meiji Yasuda will also buy a stake in Europa. In January, Talanx also bought Towarzystwo Ubezpieczen i Reasekuracji Warta SA from KBC Group NV for 770 million euros, further expanding its exposure to eastern Europe’s largest insurance market.
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