DAILY NEWS Dec 21, 2012 8:45 AM - 0 comments

Aviva plc to sell Aviva USA for $1.8 billion

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Aviva plc announced Friday that it has agreed to sell Aviva USA Corp., its U.S. life and annuities business and related asset management operation, to Athene Holding Ltd., for $1.8 billion. 

"The transaction represents significant further progress in narrowing the group's focus on businesses and markets where viva enjoys leadership positions and is able to generate attractive returns with a high probability of success," the company noted in an announcement. 

The sale will also reduce the group's credit risk exposure by approximately 25%, it stated. 

"The sale of Aviva USA is an important step forward in the delivery of our strategic plan," John McFarlane, chairman of Aviva plc commented. "It considerably strengthens Aviva’s financial position, increases group liquidity and improves our economic capital surplus whilst also reducing its volatility."

“The disposal of the U.S. business, combined with the recent settlement with Bankia, represents a successful end to the year and sets us up well for 2013," he added. 

Athene Holding is a Bermuda-based life insurance holding company focused principally on the retirement market and whose business, through its subsidiaries, is focused primarily on issuing and reinsuring fixed and equity indexed annuities.

Completion of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected in 2013.

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