Chennai: British insurer Aviva is planning to divest its stake in its Indian entity along with its businesses in other Asian markets.
The divestment will be part of the overhaul the insurer wants to make in its global business. Aviva’s Asian assets could be valued at about $3 billion to $4 billion, a Bloomberg report said.
While Aviva is exploring options with potential advisers, the discussions are at an early stage and no final decisions have been made. Several rival insurers have signalled interest in the business, though some potential bidders would only want to acquire parts of the division.
Aviva has a joint venture with Dabur Invest Corp for its life insurance business in India, called Aviva Life Insurance Company India Ltd. Initially, Aviva had 26 per cent stake in the business. In 2016, Aviva acquired an additional 23 per cent stake for Rs 940 crore, taking its stake to 49 per cent.
According to a few recent reports, Dabur too was interested in selling its stake in the joint venture. It was in talks with a few entities for the stake sale. The Aviva Life Insurance spokesperson was not available for comment.
In the case of Aviva, when Maurice Tulloch took charge as Chief Executive Officer, he had said that the company wanted to cut expenses by 300 million pounds ($363 million) a year and cut 1,800 jobs by 2022 in order to reduce debt.
According to the company website, Aviva has 885,000 clients in Singapore as well as strategic investments working with local partners in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam and India. Among the six countries where it operates in the region, only two businesses are wholly owned.
Operating profit in Asia rose to 284 million pounds in 2018 from 227 million pounds a year earlier, Aviva said in its last annual report.
If the Asia business is sold, Aviva will have operations in the UK, France, Canada, Poland, Italy, Ireland and Turkey.