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Aviva sells shareholding in JV with Credit du Nord in France

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Aviva has sold its entire 50 per cent shareholding in life insurance joint venture Antarius to Sogecap, a subsidiary of Société Générale, for approximately GBP425 million (EUR500 million), payable in cash upon completion.

Antarius is currently owned jointly by Aviva and Crédit du Nord, a separate subsidiary of Société Générale.
 
The agreement follows Crédit du Nord’s decision in 2015 to exercise its option to purchase Aviva’s shareholding in Antarius.
 
The consideration represents approximately 1.7 times Aviva’s share of the IFRS net asset value of Antarius and 16.4 times Aviva’s share of the earnings after tax of Antarius. The transaction price is approximately GBP180 million above Aviva’s IFRS book value and further increases Solvency II capital by approximately GBP200 million.
 
In addition, Aviva Investors France has entered into a new agreement with Sogecap to continue managing in excess of EUR10 billion assets held by Antarius.
 
All regulatory approvals for the transaction have been received. In order to ensure a smooth transition for customers, completion is expected on 1 April 2017. No Aviva employees will be affected following this transaction.
 
Aviva acquired a 50 per cent shareholding in Antarius in 2004 in a 12-year distribution agreement to sell life insurance and protection products on an exclusive basis via Crédit du Nord's network. Under the terms of the agreement, Crédit du Nord had an option to purchase Aviva’s shareholding in Antarius.
 
Aviva provides life, health and general insurance and investments products to three million customers in France, has a tied agency network of approximately 950 agents, plus a direct car insurance business and Union Financière de France, one of the largest wealth asset management adviser networks in the market. Aviva also has a distribution agreement with AFER, the largest savings and pensions association in France.
 
Mark Wilson (pictured), group chief executive officer, Aviva, says: “This is a good deal at an attractive valuation and the sale realises a strong return for our shareholders. We have also agreed a new investment management mandate with Antarius and we look forward to continuing our long and successful partnership with Société Générale.”

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