By Iain Withers
LONDON (Reuters) – Aviva said on Monday it had agreed to buy the UK life insurance business of AIG for 460 million pounds ($563 million), in the largest acquisition to date by the British insurer’s CEO Amanda Blanc.
Aviva said it would buy the unit – known as AIG Life UK – from Corebridge Financial, Inc, a New York-listed company majority-owned by AIG.
Over the past three years, Blanc has prioritised hiking Aviva’s investor returns and refocused the company on its core markets by raising billions selling business units around the world.
Analysts at RBC said they viewed the deal as a sensible use of cash raised on a recent stake sale in Singapore Life, adding that their forecast for a 300 million pound share buyback at full-year results was unchanged.
Aviva shares dipped 0.4% in early trading.
Blanc said the deal would strengthen the FTSE 100 company’s position in an attractive market and help position it for “capital-light growth”.
The transaction will add 1.3 million individual protection customers and 1.4 million group protection members, Aviva said, with the deal expected to close in the first half of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals.
The deal would represent around a 5 percentage point cut to Aviva’s group solvency II cover ratio, the company said.
Peter Zaffino, chairman and CEO of AIG and chairman of Corebridge, said the deal would help focus the business on life and retirement products in the United States.
Corebridge was formed in 2021 when AIG spun off its life and retirement business and sold a portion of the company to Blackstone for $2.2 billion.
AIG took Corebridge public in September last year, in a share offering that raised $1.7 billion.
($1 = 0.8173 pounds)
(Reporting by Iain Withers, Editing by Louise Heavens)