Scor SE agreed to purchase the U.S. reinsurance unit of Assicurazioni Generali SpA as part of a plan by Italy’s biggest insurer to boost capital.

Scor, France’s largest reinsurer, would pay about 579 million euros ($750 million) in cash plus an “earnings adjustment” for Generali USA Life Reassurance Co., Paris-based Scor said today in a statement. Scor may issue debt to pay for the transaction, according to the statement.

Scor became the second-largest U.S. life reinsurer in 2011 by acquiring the mortality-risk business of Aegon NV’s Transamerica unit. The French reinsurer, led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Denis Kessler, is targeting total 2013 premiums of more than 10 billion euros.

Generali CEO Mario Greco is seeking to boost profit and increase capital by disposing of certain assets, cutting costs and focusing on faster-growing emerging markets. The company, which set a goal of 4 billion euros in revenue from asset sales by 2015, is also selling Swiss asset-management unit BSI Group.

Generali USA Life Re offers reinsurance products and services, including fully underwritten products. Reinsurers help insurers shoulder risk, earning premiums that they can invest to make a profit.

Generali’s U.S. unit fell to No. 4 in the U.S. ordinary recurring reinsurance market in 2011 from No. 3 in 2010, surpassed by Swiss Re, according to an August 2012 report from Munich Re for the Society of Actuaries.

The Italian company had $75 billion in assumed business in 2011, or a 16.3 percent market share, the report shows. Reinsurance Group of America Inc. had the biggest share of the market with 22.4 percent, while Scor had a 16.8 percent stake of the market ranking No. 2, and Swiss Re ranked No. 3 with a 16.5 percent stake.

–With assistance from Sonia Sirletti in Milan. Editors: Fabio Benedetti-Valentini, Dan Reichl