Shares in Aviva (LON:AV) have jumped more than one percent in today’s session as the company revealed that it had sold its shareholding in an Italian joint venture to Banco BPM. The move came as the blue-chip insurer continues with the transformation of its business under chief executive Mike Wilson.
As of 09:45 BST, Aviva’s share price had added 1.31 percent to 516.15p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.53 percent higher at 7,361.48 points. The group’s shares have added more than 16 percent to their value over the past year, and are up by some six percent in the year-to-date.
Aviva announced in a statement this morning that it had agreed to sell its entire holding in Avipop, its joint venture in Italy, for a consideration of €265 million (£233 million), payable in cash upon completion.
The move follows a notification by Banco BPM that it will not renew its distribution agreement with Aviva, and the UK group’s subsequent decision to exercise its put option. Aviva formed a bancassurance partnership in protection and general insurance with the former Banco Popolare in 2007, with the original agreement including an option for the FTSE 100 group to sell its entire shareholding to the bank in the event of a termination of the distribution agreement.
The sale comes after Aviva recently wrapped up the sale of parts of its Spanish business, for a total consideration of €475 million (£424 million).
The 17 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Aviva for the Financial Times have a median target of 580.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 640.00p and a low estimate of 420.00p. As of September 22, the consensus forecast amongst 21 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group has it that the company will outperform the market.