14 November 2017
AVIVA TO ACQUIRE IRISH INSURER FRIENDS FIRST
Aviva plc ('Aviva') today announces that it has reached an agreement to acquire Irish insurer Friends First Life Assurance Company dac ('Friends First') for a cash consideration of €130m (£116m). As a result of this acquisition, Aviva will become one of the largest composite insurers in Ireland, with its market share in life insurance increasing to 15%, alongside its existing leading 15% market share in general insurance.
This transaction is in line with Aviva's strategy to allocate capital 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.
The consideration represents a multiple of 0.8x Friends First's adjusted net asset value. Aviva expects the transaction to meet the group's operating return on capital hurdle from year one and to significantly exceed the hurdle thereafter.
The Irish economy has experienced a robust recovery in recent years and the prospects for continued growth remain strong. The life insurance market in Ireland has grown by c.9% since 2014. Aviva Ireland has demonstrated consistent growth over the past few years, with an operating profit growth at HY 2017of 12%.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 andinvestment products for individuals and companies. It has over 250,000customers,a market share of 6% and is a market leader in group risk andincome protection. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2018.Maurice Tulloch, CEO Aviva International Insurance said:
'Friends First is a natural fit for Aviva Ireland. The acquisition will enhance Aviva Ireland's product offering and accelerate our international growth agenda. It makes sense financially, strategically and for our customers.
'Our Irish business has been among the best performers in the Aviva group over the last couple of years. This acquisition underlines Aviva's disciplined approach to deploying capital into bolt-on acquisitions that meet our strict financial criteria and strengthen our businesses.'
John Quinlan, CEO Aviva Ireland, said:
'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. It will also make us the leading insurer for brokers in the Irish market. Together, our market leading insurance business will be well placed to take full advantage of Ireland's fast growing economy.'
Andrew Reid +44(0)20 7662 3131
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Diane Michelberger +44 (0)20 7662 0911
Notes to editors:
· Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers.
· In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index.
· Aviva's asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £340 billion in assets. Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £450 billion.
· Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; we paid out £34.4 billion in benefits and claims in 2016.
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