Voya Financial (VOYA) shares climbed on Thursday after a media report said that the life insurer and financial-services provider had discussed selling itself to a number of potential suitors and remains open to a sale.
People briefed on the matter told the Financial Times that the New York company had spoken with firms including, among others, American International Group (AIG) , Principal Financial (PFG) and Prudential Financial (PRU) .
No deal emerged from those talks, but the board may take up the idea again in 2020, the people familiar with the matter told the Financial Times. Voya and the potential suitors cited by the FT declined to comment to the newspaper.
Voya's current market capitalization is around $8 billion. One source told the FT that a takeover could value the company at $10 billion or more.
At last check, Voya Financial shares were trading up around 4.8% at $62. In mid-December, the shares touched a 52-week high above $63.
Just about a year ago, Voya shares touched a 52-week low of $41.65. Through Wednesday's trading, the shares were up 42% from that low.
The Financial Times reported that Voya CEO Rodney Martin has focused the company on less capital-intensive businesses.
Voya in December definitively agreed to sell certain life insurance and annuities businesses to Resolution Life Group Holdings, the Hamilton, Bermuda, manager of legacy life-insurance portfolios.
For the first nine months of 2019, Voya reported net income declined 39% to $2.67 a share from $4.39. Revenue climbed 7.1% to $6.78 billion from $6.33 billion.