Aviva sells French business to Aéma Groupe for $3.9 billion

FILE PHOTO: An Aviva logo on the window of the company’s head office in the city of London, Britain March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Aviva has agreed the sale of its operations in France for 3.2 billion euros ($3.89 billion) to newly created French insurer Aéma Groupe, it said on Tuesday.

The London-based insurer, led by boss Amanda Blanc, said that the sale would increase excess capital by 2.1 billion pounds ($2.95 billion) and centre cash of around 2.8 billion pounds.

Aéma Groupe was formed in January through the merger of Aésio mutuelle and Macif Group, and has 8 million customers.

“The transaction will increase Aviva’s financialstrength, remove significant volatility and bring real focus to the Group,” said Chief Executive Officer Amanda Blanc.

Aviva expects to use the proceeds of the sale to support debt reduction, invest for long-term growth and return excess capital to shareholders.

The sale is central to Blanc’s turnaround plan aimed at shifting the insurer’s focus to core operations in Britain, Canada and Ireland after prolonged share price weakness has irked investors. The insurer is also looking to sell its Polish Operations, according to sources.

($1 = 0.8218 euros)

($1 = 0.7108 pounds)

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