ZURICH - Zurich Financial Services, Europe's sixth-biggest insurer, plans to adopt a single share structure in an attempt to boost its stock price and help it pursue acquisitions.Zurich's U.K. shares, created by the $18.7 billion merger in September 1998 of Zurich Insurance Co. and British American Tobacco PLC's financial units, have risen 14% since then, and the Swiss shares have risen 22%. Allianz AG, Europe's No. 2 insurer, has risen 63% in the period.
Chairman and chief executive Rolf Hueppi said the company wants to be active in industry consolidation. Zurich acquired Farmers Insurance Group, the third-biggest U.S. home and auto insurer, in its deal for British American Tobacco.