Aviva to lighten holding in Delta Lloyd

aviva plans to sell part of its holdings in Dutch insurer Delta Lloyd, as it shifts focus to its core markets.

Britain’s second biggest insurer announced yesterday it would sell about 15 per cent of Delta Lloyd’s issued shares, a move that would reduce Aviva’s holdings in the company to about 43 per cent from 58 per cent.

Aviva expects to sell the shares through a private placement and the offering is expected to comprise about 25 million Delta Lloyd shares.

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“Reducing our shareholding in Delta Lloyd will not only enhance our liquidity and further strengthen our balance sheet but is also consistent with our focus on pursuing profitable growth in markets where we have strength and scale,” Aviva chief executive Andrew Moss said.

In March, Aviva said it could sell assets this year as part of a plan to concentrate on the countries where it was best established.

Delta Lloyd was spun off from Aviva in a flotation in November 2009 at an offer price of 16 euros per share.

The shares have since risen more than 18 per cent in value.

Aviva employs 2,750 people in York, 1,700 in Sheffield and 330 in Leeds.