Assicurazioni Generali is contemplating divestment of an approximately €20bn ($21bn) life insurance portfolio in Italy, Bloomberg has reported.

People familiar with the matter told the publication that the move is part of the Italian insurer’s strategy to boost profitability.

The insurer has already hired an adviser to review the portfolio and may begin the sale process as early as January, the report said.

The sale may comprise legacy policies from Societa Cattolica di Assicurazioni, which was acquired by Generali last year, and Genertel.

However, it’s not clear yet how much the portfolio could fetch in a sale, the sources said.

The sources added that talks are still underway and that no decisions regarding the scope or timing of any contract have been made.

Generali’s representative declined to comment on the Bloomberg’s report.

Dealmaking has been active in the market for old insurance policy portfolios because it enables insurers to free up capitals and Generali is among the insurance companies that has been slashing exposure to life products.

Generali’s chief executive Philippe Donnet last year announced plans to pay up to €5.6bn in dividends to shareholders by 2024 and foray into non-life insurance asset management.

Generali launched a €1.17bn buyout offer for Cattolica in May 2021 and increased its stake in the insurer to 84.47% in November that year. 

Before that, Generali, which seeks to prevent foreign insurers from growing in the Italian market through the deal, made a €300m investment in Cattolica. 

In March this year, Generali acquired the entire 16% stake in Future Generali India Life (FGIL) from Industrial Investment Trust Limited (IITL).  The stake building in Indian JVs is part of the Italian firm’s ‘Lifetime Partner 24: Driving Growth’ strategy, which aims to bolster its position in fast-growing markets.