Italian insurance major Assicurazioni Generali is reportedly engaged in negotiations to acquire the central European assets of American insurance company MetLife, Bloomnerg has reported.

Through the proposed deal, Generali aims to expand its operations in high-growth Central European markets.

Undisclosed sources familiar with the development told Bloomberg that MetLife’s Central European insurance business may be valued at over €2bn ($2.2bn).

The businesses are mainly located in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary as well as Romania.

Discussions are at an initial stage and the deal may or may not materialise, the sources said.

Earlier, Generali said that the company is looking to acquire insurance companies to foray into new countries in central and eastern Europe.

In November last year, Generali said that it has a war-chest of around €4bn ($4.5bn) to acquire asset management and other higher margin businesses.

The central and eastern Europe small and medium size insurance firms, which are unable to cope with complex regulation, are potential targets.

Generali has collected around €1.5bn ($1.68bn) by divesting approximately a dozen non-strategic businesses in various countries during the last three years.

Additionally, the insurer has raised €1.9bn from the sale of its German life insurance unit Generali Leben.

Last month, Generali agreed to acquire the life, non-life and composite insurance portfolios of three entities of ERGO International in Hungary and Slovakia.

In March, Generali completed sale of Generali Worldwide Insurance Company and Generali Link to Life Company Consolidation Group (LCCG).