Aviva sell off French arm for £2.7bn

Aviva in Norwich. Pic: Archant

Aviva in Norwich. Pic: Archant - Credit: Archant

Aviva has approved the sale of its French business for £2.77 billion. 

The insurance giant, which employs around 5,000 people in Norwich, made the move as part of an overhaul to sell off non-core assets and focus on its UK, Ireland and Canadian divisions.

The insurance giant’s chief executive, Amanda Blanc, said: “The sale of Aviva France is a very significant milestone in the delivery of our strategy.

“It is an excellent outcome for shareholders, customers, employees and distributors. The transaction will increase Aviva’s financial strength, remove significant volatility and bring real focus to the group.

“Aéma Groupe has a strong heritage in the French insurance industry and this transaction will propel it to a top five position in the French market. I am confident Aéma Groupe will be an excellent owner of Aviva France.”

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Aéma Groupe is a leading French mutual insurer, with 8m customers, revenues of over €8bn, created in January 2021 as the result of the combination of Aésio and Macif.

Customers and agents of Aviva France will continue to receive the same high quality of service from the business and there is no impact to customer policies as a result of this announcement. 

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Management and employees of Aviva France will transfer with the business, which is planned to operate as a standalone autonomous entity within the Aéma Groupe, ensuring continuity of service.

The transaction covers the French life, general insurance, and asset management businesses and the (75pc) shareholding in Aviva France.

Aviva added that it expects to use the funds to support its previously framework of debt reduction, investment for long-term growth and return of excess capital to shareholders.

Part of the cash proceeds - up to £0.5 billion, it said - will be used to accelerate repayment of some of the group’s internal loan with Aviva Insurance Limited.

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