AvivaAug 25 2017

Aviva sells stake in Italian insurance business

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Aviva sells stake in Italian insurance business
ByDamian Fantato

Aviva has sold its stake in its Italian joint venture which distributes life and general insurance products.

Avipop Assicurazioni SpA is a joint venture formed in 2007 between Aviva and Banco Popolare.

Earlier this year Banco Popolare merged with Banca Popolare di Milano, creating Banco BPM, to which Aviva has now sold its 50 per cent stake.

Maurice Tulloch, chief executive of Aviva International Insurance, said: “This transaction will realise value for Aviva shareholders and will allow us to invest further in our future growth.

“Aviva has momentum in Italy and I am confident about our prospects.

“We are now in a good position to grow our business further, with our partners and through digital.”

Avipop, together with its wholly owned subsidiary Avipop Vita SpA, distributes products through Banco BPM’s branch network.

The announcement follows a notification received by Aviva on 29 June 2017 of Banco BPM’s intention to not renew its bancassurance agreement with Aviva.

The original agreement between Aviva and Banco Popolare included an option for Aviva to sell its entire shareholding to the bank in the event of a termination of the distribution agreement.

In 2016 the two Avipop businesses contributed £0.2bn to Aviva’s net assets and generated around £14m operating profit before tax.

Aviva’s joint ventures in Italy with UBI, UniCredit and business units Aviva Life SpA and Aviva Italia SpA are unaffected.

The company also has distribution partnerships with UBI Banca, Unicredit, Banca Popolare di Bari, a franchise with IFAs and a distribution network of more than 500 multi tied agents.