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Uniqa Said to Hire Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank for Share Sale

Uniqa Versicherungen AG, Austria’s second-biggest insurer, picked Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG and Raiffeisen Centrobank to manage a share sale planned for next year, according to three people with knowledge of the plan.

Uniqa will probably hire additional banks to support the leading trio, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the process is private.

Officials for Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Raiffeisen Centrobank all declined to comment. Uniqa spokesman Norbert Heller said the company is preparing to start the share sale whenever the time is right, and won’t disclose which banks will manage the sale before then.

Chief Executive Officer Andreas Brandstetter said in April that Uniqa plans to sell “significantly more” than 500 million euros ($637 million) of new stock next year or in 2014 to fund growth in eastern Europe and broaden its shareholder base. That would be equivalent to about 25 percent of the insurer’s current market value. Deutsche Bank and Raiffeisen Centrobank managed the Vienna-based insurer’s 500 million-euro fundraising from existing shareholders in July.

About 7.5 percent of Uniqa’s shares are publicly traded. Some 2,709 Uniqa shares changed hands in Vienna trading today, with the shares slipping 0.1 percent to 8.90 euros as of 4:20 p.m. local time. The average daily volume over the last 12 months was 4,656 shares, according to Bloomberg data, and Uniqa’s market value is about 1.9 billion euros.

Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG, a cooperative Austrian lender, owns 44.7 percent of Uniqa and also indirectly controls Raiffeisen Centrobank. Two trusts, Austria Privatstiftung and Collegialitaet Versicherungsverein Privatstiftung, own another 47.4 percent of Uniqa.

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