Aviva, the UK's leading insurance provider, has issued a statement denying it has held talks to acquire or is even interested in US insurer AmerUs Group.

In its statement the UK-based insurer said it has not made such a proposal and no discussions with AmerUs are taking place. The public denial comes in response to a report from the Guardian newspaper which suggested Aviva had made a $3 billion bid. Aviva had offered $74 a share in cash, according to the Guardian.

However Aviva is believed to be actively looking for growth opportunities, which the company’s new statement suggests. Aviva continues to review value-driven inorganic growth opportunities in the major global long term-savings markets.

Aviva is believed to have developed an interest in AmerUs following a failed attempt to convince its main UK rival, Prudential, to merge.