Insurance giant Zurich Financial Services has entered into talks with CSC for a potential $2.4 billion (£1.5 billion) IT services deal.

The contract, which is expected to run for 10 years, would cover managed datacentre and IT infrastructure services, focusing on server virtualisation and datacentre consolidation.

CSC is now in final negotiations for the deal, which will comprise a master service framework within which country-specific deals will be signed. The parties have set a six month negotiation period, declaring that there is “no assurance” that they will agree on a final deal or that regulatory bodies and workers’ councils will approve it.

It is expected that if a deal is signed, the work will commence in the first half of 2010. It will affect business in Europe, including the Zurich UK offices in London, Leeds and Glasgow, as well as North America.

Zurich already has a £200 million deal with CSC for desktop management, signed 16 months ago. That agreement will run for six years, supporting 51,000 desktops.

In 2004, it signed another $1.3 billion (£803 million) deal with CSC, covering applications development and support services to its businesses in the US, UK, Switzerland and Germany, for seven years.