• Abbey Life could fetch about 1 billion pounds in a sale
  • Phoenix, pension fund also said to circle U.K. insurance arm

Swiss Re AG and Britain’s Legal & General Group Plc are among firms considering bids for Deutsche Bank AG’s insurance business Abbey Life Assurance Co., according to people with knowledge of their plans.

Deutsche Bank is seeking bids by the end of the week, said the people, who asked not to be named because the deliberations are private. Abbey Life, an insurer that’s closed to new business, has also drawn interest from Phoenix Group Holdings Plc, which buys and manages closed life insurance funds, and a Canadian pension fund, the people said.

China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co. has also spoken to advisers as it considers a potential bid for the business, two of the people said.

The asset has an estimated value of about 1 billion pounds ($1.42 billion), one of the people said. Representatives for Deutsche Bank, Swiss Re, L&G and Phoenix declined to comment. A U.K.-based representative for Anbang couldn’t immediately comment.

Deutsche Bank’s Co-Chief Executive Officer John Cryan has been seeking ways to restore investor confidence and earnings growth after the lender was battered by costs tied to past misconduct. Cryan plans to overhaul the business, shrinking headcount and exiting operations to shore up capital.

The company said in January that it was reviewing options for Abbey Life. The life insurance company’s “dynamics, balance sheet and profit and loss account are quite different from that of an asset manager,” Cryan said at the time.

Abbey Life’s total balance sheet was valued at 10.9 billion pounds as of Dec. 31 2014, according to its website. Deutsche Bank acquired the company from what is now called Lloyds Banking Group Plc for 977 million pounds in 2007.

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