Monday 16 September 2019

Aviva Insurance to commence £600m share buy-back

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Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Aviva Insurance is to commence a £600m (€684m) share buy-back.

The buy-back is part of the group’s plan to deploy some of the excess capital which it holds.

As part of its recent results announcement, the group said that it had committed to the share buy-back, a £900m debt reduction, as well as spending £500m on bolt-on acquisitions, which includes around £100m already committed to the acquisition of Friends First in Ireland.

"Aviva has significant surplus cash and capital and we are deploying £2bn productively in 2018," Mark Wilson, chief executive of Aviva, said.

"The £600m buy-back, together with our plan to repay £900m of expensive debt maturing this year and invest in bolt-on acquisitions, will grow Aviva’s earnings, strengthen cashflow and improve debt ratios."

Aviva has entered into an agreement with Citigroup to conduct the share buy-back programme on its behalf and to make trading decisions under the programme independently of Aviva.

The programme will commence on 1 May 2018 and will end no later than 31 December 2018. Shares acquired by Citigroup under the agreement will be immediately sold on to Aviva and, to the extent permitted by law, such ordinary shares purchased will be cancelled.

Profits at the Irish arm of Aviva rose 13pc to £86m (€93m) last year - the third year in a row of double digit percentage growth, according to results from the group released in March.

Aviva said its priority in Ireland is to maintain underwriting discipline - a signal prices aren't going to improve for customers .

Aviva is one of the country's biggest insurance providers, in particular in car, home and life insurance.

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