CVC Capital Partners is nearing a deal to acquire National Bank of Greece SA’s insurance business after a years-long search for a buyer, people familiar with the matter said. The private equity firm could announce an agreement as soon as this week to buy a majority stake in Ethniki Insurance, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

A disposal would help National Bank of Greece replenish its capital buffers as it continues to clean up bad loans on its balance sheet. It’s also delivering on a pledge to the European Commission after the financial crisis that it would try to offload the business, which offers both life and non-life policies. Representatives for National Bank and CVC declined to comment.

This year has seen a flurry of deals in the insurance industry, driven by European giants seeking to divest peripheral businesses to streamline their operations. CVC, one of the private equity firms with the most experience in financial services deals, has invested in lenders, insurers and payments firms. It already owns French insurance broker April as well as specialty P&C insurer Fidelis.

Read more/Source: Insurance Journal