Lloyds mulls sale of Clerical Medical to Resolution for $6.6 billion

British banking and insurance major, Lloyds Banking Group Plc (Lloyds) is said to be in preliminary discussions with Resolution Plc, one of the country's leading insurance providers, for the sale of its insurance business Clerical Medical, which could be valued at around £4 billion ($6.6 billion), the Mail reported Sunday.

Founded in 1824, Clerical Medical is a leading provider of retirement and financial planning solutions and became part of Lloyds when the latter acquired the Scotland-based banking and insurance group HBOS Plc in January 2009.

In an attempt to streamline the insurance operations and reduce the costs, Lloyds announced in May its plans to merge Clerical Medical with its life assurance subsidiary Scottish Windows, and drop the brand name.

London-based Resolution, headed by insurance tycoon Clive Cowdery, raised £600 million in December 2008 from investors including Aviva and Prudential, on its listing in London Stock Exchange. The company primarily targets banking, life insurance and asset management firms for acquisition and restructuring.

Earlier this month, after several attempts, Resolution reaped success in acquiring Dorking-based insurance and pension provider Friends Provident plc for around £1.9 billion. (See: UK's Friends Provident unable to refuse Resolution offer)

Not revealing any details, Cowdery said he was in talk with several parties and added, ''We are concentrating on our acquisition of Friends Provident and integrating the business, which will take up to three months.''