New York-based private equity firms J C Flowers & Co and Apollo Global Management are reportedly considering to submit bids for Hartford Financial Services Group’s Japanese annuity business.

Three people familiar with the matter were quoted by Reuters as saying that both companies along with some other firms are likely to submit second round bids for the business next week.

Hartford Financial Services, a US based insurance company, has hired Deutsche Bank (DBK) to seek a buyer and manage the sale process of its Japanese business, media sources reported in May this year.

Hartford Financial Services CEO Liam McGee has been working to scrap the annuity business and concentrate on property casualty division, group-benefits and mutual funds operations.

In June 2013, the company reached an agreement to dispose its UK variable annuity business Hartford Life International to Berkshire Hathaway for about $285m in cash.

An email statement of Hartford spokesman was quoted by the news agency as saying, "Any transactions would be evaluated by balancing the sales price and underlying economics with the capital that would be released."

The news agency reported that the Japanese business could be valued between $750m to $1bn.

According to an August investor presentation, Hartford’s Japanese business had 372,000 variable annuity contracts, with $24.2bn in assets as of 30 June 2013.