Insurance giant with 2,000 Scottish staff completes sale of non-core units

Aviva, the insurance giant with some 2,000 Scottish staff, has capped the mammoth disposal of non-core assets by selling its Polish division for €2.7 billion (£2.3bn).

The deal, which will see rival insurer Allianz take over the division, is the eighth overseas unit sold by the UK-based group in as many months – raising a total of £7.5bn.

Aviva is undergoing a major overhaul by slimming down its operations to focus purely on its core markets of the UK, Ireland and Canada, where bosses see strong potential growth.

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Selling off its Polish business to rival Allianz will allow the firm to focus on that growth with the spare cash raised handed back to shareholders.

Aviva is undergoing a major overhaul by slimming down its operations to focus purely on its core markets of the UK, Ireland and Canada, where bosses see strong potential growth.
Aviva is undergoing a major overhaul by slimming down its operations to focus purely on its core markets of the UK, Ireland and Canada, where bosses see strong potential growth.

The company employs some 2,000 people in Scotland, with around 1,000 people based in its Perth office, which houses its property claims centre for both commercial and personal property.

Chief executive Amanda Blanc told investors: “The sale of our Polish business is an excellent conclusion to the refocusing of our portfolio announced just eight months ago. The sale of our eight non-core businesses will generate total cash proceeds of £7.5bn.

“We have made significant progress with our debt reduction plan and in due course we will make a substantial return of capital to shareholders. Our strategic focus is now on our strongest businesses in the UK, Ireland and Canada where we have leading market positions and strong growth potential.

“This transaction delivers excellent value for Aviva shareholders. It is also a very positive outcome for our customers, employees and distribution partners and we are confident that Aviva Poland will continue to prosper under Allianz ownership.”

The deal is expected to complete within 12 months for the Polish division which saw profits after tax of £130 million in 2020. Gross assets were £3.9bn.

The unit is comprised of life insurance businesses in Poland and Lithuania, alongside general insurance, asset management and pensions businesses in Poland.

Last November, Aviva opened a solar power facility at its vast Perth site that will offer a carbon saving equivalent to powering more than 500 homes. The facility will be powered by Tesla Powerpack technology.

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