Citigroup's life insurance unit Primerica filed for an initial public offering of up to about $234 million, as part of the financial giant's plans to shed assets outside its core banking business.

Concurrent to the IPO, private equity funds managed by Warburg Pincus LLC will buy 17.2 million of Primerica common stock and warrants to purchase about 4.3 million additional shares from Citigroup.

Following the offering, Citigroup will have between 32 percent and 46 percent stake in Primerica, and Warburg Pincus will own between 23 percent and 33 percent.

The spin-off comes at a time when Citigroup Chief Executive Vikram Pandit is under heavy pressure to turn around the company, which has posted several billions of dollars in losses in the past two years.

Citigroup intends to divest its remaining interest in Primerica as soon as is practicable, filings showed.

The third-largest U.S. bank had tried to sell the whole of Primerica in 2009, but failed to find a buyer willing to pay enough.

In November, Citigroup had expected to raise about $100 million from Primerica's IPO.

Primerica expects to offer 18 million shares at a price of between $12 and $14 per share, it said in a regulatory filing.

The selling stockholder has granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to 2.7 million additional shares to cover over-allotments.

Citigroup will get all of the net proceeds from the offering.

Primerica insures more than 4.3 million people, mainly from households with annual incomes between $30,000 and $100,000.

The underwriters on the offering are being led by Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

The company is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PRI.

Citigroup shares were trading nearly flat at $4.06 before the bell. (Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D'Silva)