Business Irish

Saturday 15 December 2018

Aviva Ireland agrees to buy Friends First

Photo: Bloomberg News
Photo: Bloomberg News
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Aviva Ireland is to acquire Friends First Life Assurance for a cash consideration of €130m, subject to regulatory approval.

Following the acquisition Aviva will become one of the largest composite insurers in Ireland, increasing its market share in life insurance to 15pc, alongside its exiting 15pc market share in general insurance.

The transaction is in line with the company’s strategy for capital allocation in selected markets where it has scale or competitive advantage, and where it can further expand its range of products across life and general insurance.

Friends First, currently owned by Dutch insurer Achmea Holding NV, has been operating in Ireland for over 180 years with a focus on life protection, pension and investment products for individuals and companies.

It has over 250,000 customers and a market share of 6pc.

The transaction is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2018.

"I look forward to welcoming the Friends First employees to the Aviva group. Friends First is an excellent business and will be a great addition to Aviva Ireland.

Their expertise in the area of income protection and group risk, in particular, will complement and strengthen the broad range of insurance products we offer our customers," John Quinlan, CEO Aviva Ireland, said.

In August Aviva announced that operating profit at its Irish arm, which currently employs 1,150 people across Ireland, was up 12pc to €48m in the first six months of 2017.

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