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British insurer Aviva to sell Singapore business to consortium led by Singlife

British insurer Aviva to sell Singapore business to consortium led by Singlife

FILE PHOTO: The Aviva logo sits outside the company head office in the city of London, Britain March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

SINGAPORE: British life, motor and home insurer Aviva said on Friday (Sep 11) it will sell its majority shareholding in its Singapore business to a consortium led by Singapore Life for S$2.7 billion (US$1.98 billion), as the company reduces focus on Asia.

The Singlife consortium includes alternative asset firm TPG, which will become the largest shareholder in the new group on completion, Japanese insurer Sumitomo Life and other existing Singlife shareholders.

"The sale of Aviva Singapore is a significant first step in our new strategy to bring greater focus to Aviva's portfolio," said newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Amanda Blanc.

Blanc has been looking to sharpen the company's focus on Britain, Ireland and Canada.

Former CEO Maurice Tulloch carried out a strategic review of the Asian businesses last year, but sources said he was unable to secure a high enough price to sell Aviva's Singapore division.

The deal consists of S$2 billion in cash and marketable securities, S$250 million in vendor finance notes and a 25 per cent equity shareholding in the new group.

The new business will initially be branded as Aviva Singlife in Singapore.

In a media release, Singlife said its current chairman Ray Ferguson will continue as the chairman of the new group. 

Singlife Group CEO Walter de Oude will be appointed deputy chairman, while current Aviva Singapore CEO Nishit Majmudar will be appointed CEO of the combined entity’s Singapore licensed insurance business.

The transaction is subject to closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to complete by January 2021.

Aviva Singapore currently insures about 1.5 million customers and manages S$11.8 billion of assets. 

Its customers and partners will continue to deal with the company as usual and there is no impact to customer policies, the company said. 

Source: Reuters/gs


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