(Bloomberg) -- RSA Insurance Group Plc rose in London tradingafter Switzerland’s Zurich Insurance Group AG proposed to buy thecompany for about 5.6 billion pounds ($8.8 billion).

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The shares increased 5.1 percent to 520 pence at 9:11 a.m.,short of Zurich’s conditional offer of 550 pence a share. RSA willrelay the bid to shareholders provided satisfactory terms are met,including due diligence, it said in a statement from London onTuesday. U.K. regulators have given Zurich until Sept. 22 to make afirm offer.

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The decision ends a month of speculation about whether ZurichInsurance Chief Executive Officer Martin Senn would bid for thecompany and comes on the day of a deadline to submit an offer. Thepossible takeover, which would be the biggest in Europe this year,has spurred speculation that buyouts in the European insuranceindustry, which have lagged behind those in the U.S., are about togain momentum.

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“We think this is a reasonable price,” said Ming Zhu, an analystat Canaccord Genuity in London. “RSA made some strong progress inthe first half of 2015. That provides some comfort to Zurichshareholders.”

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The two firms had differed on price, with RSA demanding 600pence a share and Zurich offering about 525 pence, according toreports in the U.K. press including the Sunday Telegraph.

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Zurich’s purchase of RSA, its biggest since 2000, would allow itto expand in the U.K. and Latin America as well as access RSA’sprofitable Scandinavian and Canadian units at a time when its ownprofit is in decline.

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For RSA, the talks are capping a tumultuous two-year periodwhich included an accounting scandal in Ireland, Simon Lee’sdeparture as CEO and a spate of asset disposals to shore up thebalance sheet. Stephen Hester, the former CEO of Royal Bank ofScotland Group Plc, took the reins last year.

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