GREENWICH, Conn. — American Brands Inc. is negotiating to sell its life insurance unit to American General Corp., a Houston-based insurer.
The company said Tuesday that it is in "serious discussions" with American General over the possible sale of Franklin Life Insurance Co.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations, reported Tuesday that the estimated $1.2-billion deal would involve a combination of long-term debt and preferred shares.
Spokesmen for both companies declined further comment on the talks.
Analysts said Franklin Life would be a good fit for American General.
"Franklin Life is in middle-income (life insurance) markets and has an old block of business and a strong agency system, and both of those are of definite interest to American General," said David Seifer, an insurance analyst at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette.