Swiss Re Ltd. is in preliminary discussions with Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. on a potential minority investment in the Swiss reinsurer, the Zurich-based group said Wednesday.


The statement followed a report in the Wall Street Journal that the two groups were in advanced talks on a deal that could be worth $10 billion or more.


The report, citing sources familiar with the matter, said the deal under discussion was for the purchase of up to a third of Swiss Re's shares at a premium. Such a deal would make SoftBank the largest investor in the reinsurance group.


"Swiss Re informs that it is engaged in preliminary discussions with SoftBank Group Corp. regarding a potential minority investment in Swiss Re," said the world's second-largest reinsurer adding that "Discussions are at a very early stage. There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms, timing, or form of any transaction," Swiss Re added.


Swiss Re's shares traded at 90.18 Swiss francs, giving it a market capitalization of 31.51 billion francs ($34 billion).


Swiss Re's largest shareholder is BlackRock Institutional Trust Co. with a 5.02% stake, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data.

SoftBank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.