RSA Hits 2013 High as Zurich Said to Prepare Financing for Bid

RSA Insurance Group Plc climbed to the highest level since November 2013 as Zurich Insurance Group AG looked to raise financing ahead of a possible takeover offer for the British firm this week.

The shares advanced 2 percent to 524.5 pence at 11:03 a.m. in London, extending their rally to 20 percent since July 28, when Zurich said it was considering a bid. The Swiss insurer is said to be talking to banks about raising more than $4 billion, two people familiar with the discussions said Friday.

RSA has seen it’s market value swell to 5.3 billion pounds ($8.3 billion) as analysts speculated that other insurers such as Axa SA and Allianz SE may also consider making an offer.

Zurich had not made a final decision and was still discussing options with its adviser Morgan Stanley, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

While Zurich is talking to more than one bank about the financing, it could also opt to raise the funding solely through Morgan Stanley, one of the people told Bloomberg.

Representatives for RSA and Zurich, which both report earnings on Aug. 6, declined to comment on Friday as did a spokesman for Morgan Stanley.

RSA Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester will seek a minimum of 600 pence a share, the Sunday Telegraph reported, without saying where it got the information.

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