Zurich Insurance (VTX:ZRN) has confirmed that it is considering a bid for UK-based insurance company RSA Insurance.

RSA (LON:RSA) is the owner of the More Than brand and has a market capitalisation of 4.4 billion pounds, as well as strong market positions in Scandinavia, in Canada, and a large UK commercial franchise in Latin America.

The Swiss firm said: “Zurich notes the recent market speculation in relation to RSA Insurance Group and confirms that the company is evaluating a potential offer.”

There is “no assurance that any offer will be made”, Zurich added.

The Financial Times said Zurich was considering a bid valuing RSA at 5.5 billion pounds, or 550 pence a share. Barclays analysts said Zurich had around $3 billion in surplus cash and could take on debt of up to $5 billion.

Shares in RSA were up 15 percent at 503.50 pence at 1139 GMT. Zurich shares were down 2.1 percent.

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