Aviva to sell Singlife joint venture stake for $1 billion
By Elizabeth Howcroft
LONDON (Reuters) -Aviva is quitting its Singlife joint venture, selling its 25.9% stake in Singapore Life Holdings and two debt instruments to Sumitomo Life for a combined 800 million pounds ($997 million), the British insurer said on Wednesday.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023, Aviva said.
Aviva Chief Executive Amanda Blanc said the transaction further simplifies the business and puts the company in a very strong position to build on its trading momentum in the UK, Ireland and Canada.
Aviva’s shares rose as much as 3.4% after the market opened and were last up 3%, on track for their biggest daily rise since January.
The group’s operating profit beat analyst forecasts in the first half of the year, rising 8% to 715 million pounds, helped by a strong performance in general and health insurance.
The Singlife joint venture contributed 17 million pounds to Aviva’s operating profit in 2022, the statement said.
Proceeds from the sale will be considered under Aviva’s capital management framework, the statement said, which allows any surplus capital to be reinvested in the business, used for mergers and acquisitions or given to shareholders.
Sumitomo Life already has a 23.2% stake in Singlife, the statement added.
($1 = 0.8024 pounds)
(Reporting by Elizabeth HowcroftAdditional reporting by Lucy RaitanoEditing by Sinead Cruise and David Goodman)