Italian bank Banca Popolare di Milano is thought to be in talks to sell approximately half of its insurance division to insurer Fondiaria in a deal valued at around E180 million.

Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM) and Fondiaria have entered into exclusive talks over a possible bancassurance partnership, but so far have declined to provide any details.

According to the FT, the two Italian financial services companies are thrashing out a deal which will see the insurer initially buying a 46% stake in Bipiemme Vita, BPM’s insurance arm, with a view to increasing its share to more than 50% a some point in the next 18 months.

To achieve this, it is expected that the two organizations will agree a second purchase agreement that will result in the transfer of a further 5% share to give Fondiaria a controlling 51% stake.

The timescale for the two tier transaction is unclear at the moment, but terms for the deal must reportedly be finalized by the end of October.