Lloyds Banking Group is reported to be lining up the cut-price sale of a German insurance business as it looks to slim down its international presence.
The expected sale price of €400m for Heidelberger Leben represents less than half the price Lloyds had originally been hoping to achieve, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
Two years ago it was suggested the business could fetch €1bn, but under pressure to speed up the sale of its international operations, the offer from Hannover Re is thought to have been impossible to ignore.
A sale could be announced this week, although other bidders from private equity are known to retain interest in the business, which became part of Lloyds following an acquisition by HBOS in 2005.
Lloyds will continue to offer life insurance to German customers through its Clerical Medical brand. The latest sale will help Lloyds to satisfy regulatory demands to bolster its core measure of financial strength.