A three-way battle for a major IT services contract with insurance company Prudential has developed between Tata Consultancy Services, IBM, and Accenture, according to reports in the Indian press.

The Business Standard claims that Prudential is assessing suppliers for a possible $1.5bn contract, with a decision expected by July. A Prudential spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by Computer Business Review. Such a deal would be the largest contract announced in the UK commercial sector so far in 2007.

Prudential said at a shareholders meeting this week that it had ruled out plans to break the company up after reporting an 8% decline in profitability in its core UK market in 2006.