Japanese multinational conglomerate Nomura is seriously mulling to dispose or refinance its ING’s insurance unit in Japan, particularly its variable annuity business, with an aim to boost its capital base.

A consortium including private equity fund Blackstone Group and and reinsurer Swiss Re, are backing Mark Wilson, the former chief of AIA Group, in bidding for the entire insurance unit.

The bailed-out Dutch bancassurer ING is selling its Asian life insurance including its Korean and south-east Asian operations and asset management units in two separate deals to payback the bailout package it received during the zenith of 2008 financial crisis.

According to an estimate, ING has disposed €15.2bn ($18.6bn) worth of assets across the globe, since the bailout and is anticipating that the latest deal will bring a combined $7bn.

Metlife and Prudential Financial, considered strong contenders to acquire the entire insurance business, have exited the race in the first round of bidding.

Dai-Ichi Life, Manulife of Canada and AIA, the Hong Kong based pan-Asian insurer are eyeing the south-east Asian business and potentially the Korean unit.