St. Paul, Zurich Financial Reportedly Talk Deal

The discussions are preliminary.
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St. Paul Travelers

(STA)

reportedly is in discussions about a merger with Zurich Financial, in what could create a global insurance titan to compete with

American International Group

(AIG) - Get Report

.

The talks are preliminary and could break down, and the transatlantic transaction could face insurmountable regulatory hurdles, the

Wall Street Journal

reported Friday. St. Paul's market capitalization is about $30 billion, about $3 billion less than Zurich, whose shares rose in European trading after the talks were reported.

On a total asset basis, Zurich, with about $340 billion, dwarfs St. Paul, which has about $113 billion. The companies did about $90 billion in revenue last year. By comparison, AIG does about $100 billion in annual revenue.

St. Paul shares closed at $42.96 Friday, down about 3% this year.