Insurer previously made and later withdrew an offer for IAG in 2008

There was speculation in Australia that acquisitive QBE is about to launch a takeover of Insurance Australia Group (IAG). Shares in IAG, Australia’s largest insurer of cars and houses, climbed 3.6% on the rumour. Both companies refused to comment.

QBE has been there before: in May 2008, it withdrew an A$8.7bn ($8.07bn) offer for IAG.

“A takeover of IAG would make strategic sense,” said Chris Weston, an institutional dealer at IG Markets in Melbourne. “We know QBE has an aggressive policy of growing the business through acquisitions and we have seen an offer before.”