Hannover to buy stake in Lloyds arm

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German insurance firm Hannover Re yesterday confirmed it was planning to buy a minority stake in Lloyds Banking Group’s Heidelberger Leben arm.

The state-backed lender has put the German business up for sale as it seeks to withdraw from “non-core” international activities, and reports said it could attract bids of €400 million (£342.9m).

However, Hannover Re said its investment would be worth less than €100m. It added: “In view of the fact that negotiations are still ongoing, the company is currently unable to provide any further details.”

Sources said a private equity firm is poised to take a majority stake in the business, and a deal could be announced as soon as today.

A spokesman for Lloyds declined to comment.