Aviva (LON:AV) has trimmed its exposure to Spain, withdrawing €475 million capital from the country, the blue-chip insurer has said. The move comes as the company continues to shake up its business as part of chief executive Mark Wilson’s transformation strategy.
Aviva’s share price rose in yesterday’s session, adding 1.04 percent to close at 535.50p, outperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index adding 41.35 points to end the session 0.57 percent higher at 7,342.21. The group’s shares have added a little over a quarter to their value over the past year, and are up by some 10 percent in the year-to-date.
Aviva announced in a statement this morning that it was selling its shareholdings in life insurance and pension joint ventures Unicorp Vida and Caja España Vida, as well as its retail life insurance business Aviva Vida y Pensiones, to Santalucía. Total consideration of the transaction is €475 million (£403 million).
“This is a strong outcome for Aviva. The consideration of €475m is an attractive valuation and the sale further simplifies the Group,” the insurer’s chief executive Mark Wilson commented in the statement. The blue-chip group further noted that the sale was part of allocating capital to markets where it can deliver higher returns, as well as part of a strategic review of its Spanish operations.
The 19 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Aviva for the Financial Times have a median target of 560.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 640.00p and a low estimate of 420.00p. As of May 5, the consensus forecast amongst 22 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group has it that the company will outperform the market. Aviva is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting today.