LONDON  - British insurer Aviva is set to pull out of the US in a move that could cost the company around £1 billion ($1.6b, 1.2b euros), the Sunday Times reported.

The newspaper said Aviva’s chief executive Andrew Moss was expected to announce the sale of Aviva USA at an investor day on May 24. “The American life assurance business is likely to fetch no more than about £1 billion — roughly half what the company paid for it six years ago,” the broadsheet said.

The planned sale is part of a change of strategy agreed between Moss and his incoming chairman John McFarlane, the paper added. Aviva, Britain’s second biggest insurer and the sixth biggest worldwide, last month announced an 85 percent slump in annual net profits on exceptional charges and due to economic strains in Europe.

The company has 36,600 employees worldwide and around 43 million customers.