GRE in sell-off talks


Guardian Royal Exchange (GRE), the UK composite insurer which owns Guardian PMPA, is in talks with several parties over the sale of all or parts of its business.

The sale of GRE, which is likely to fetch more than £3 billion ($5 billion), would continue the wave of consolidation that has been sweeping the European insurance market, with larger groups swallowing up weaker competitors. Guardian PMPA is the market leader in the Irish motor insurance market.

GRE's shares closed on Friday at 308p, valuing the group at about £2.7 billion, well down on February's peak of 495p, when the group was worth £4.4 billion. Possible purchasers include France's Axa group.