Primerica Financial Services, the life insurance business that Citigroup Inc. plans to sell in an initial public offering, may have a starting value of $1.6 billion, according to an analyst at Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller.

Citigroup announced Thursday that it would take the life insurance unit, one of the company's original businesses, public next year. The IPO would initially raise as much as $100 million for Citigroup, Primerica said in a filing Thursday. The number of shares and pricing were not disclosed.

"We believe the ultimate size of the IPO would be larger and depend on the equity market conditions" in the first quarter, Fox-Pitt analyst David Trone wrote in a note to clients. "Citi will most likely record a relatively small gain on this transaction."

Primerica will get no proceeds from the IPO.

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