New York-based private equity firm Fortress Investment Group is planning to divest its majority stake in run-off Bermuda-based (re)insurer Alea Group.

Sources familiar with the matter were quoted by the Insurance Insider as saying that the Enstar, Catalina, White Mountains and Fairfax, are the contenders for the acquisition.

In 2005, the Alea group went into run-off, and has $280m-$300m in gross reserves and $110m in equity, according to market sources.

It is believed that the reinsurer has a large international reinsurance portfolio creating $120m in reserves, as well as US and some Italian life reinsurance business.

As part of the major restructure program, Alea has combined its European and Bermuda operations. In mid 2009, Catalina acquired Alea group’s UK arm at a slight discount to book value.

Fortress acquired a 72% stake in Alea for $460mn in 2007 with a view to turning the distressed entity into a consolidative vehicle.