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Aviva sells stake in Singlife, debt instruments for total S$1.4 billion

Aviva said that altogether, buyer Sumitomo Life will be paying a total of S$1.4 billion.

An Aviva logo sits on the window of the company head office in the city of London.
Aviva sells stake in Singlife, debt instruments for total S$1.4 billion. (PHOTO: REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo)

SINGAPORE – Insurance company Aviva has announced its exit from its Singapore Life Holdings (Singlife) joint venture, selling a 25.9 per cent stake for S$900 million.

In a statement on Wednesday (13 September), Aviva said that together with two debt instruments, buyer Sumitomo Life will be paying a total of S$1.4 billion.

Sumitomo Life is currently a 23.2 per cent shareholder in Singlife and sees Singapore as a key market within its overall Southeast Asia strategy, Aviva said.

Amanda Blanc, group chief executive officer of Aviva, said, "This is a good outcome for Aviva. The transaction further simplifies the business and we are in a very strong position to build on our trading momentum in the UK, Ireland and Canada."

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Aviva's exit from the Singlife joint venture represents a further step in the simplification of Aviva's footprint following the international disposal programme completed in 2021.

"It is also consistent with the group's ambition to focus on its capital-light business units. Aviva sold its majority stake in Aviva Singapore to a consortium led by Singlife in 2020," it said.

Aviva added that the disposal proceeds will be considered alongside Aviva's existing capital management framework. "Under this framework, any surplus capital is available for reinvestment in the business, bolt-on M&A, and/or additional returns to shareholders."

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals where required, and is expected to complete in Q4 2023.

In 2022, Singlife contributed £17 million (S$28.9 million) to Aviva’s operating profit. The combined carrying value of the equity stake and debt holdings contributed £729 million to Aviva's net asset value as at 30 June.

Aviva previously said it was on track to meet its target to cut £750 million worth of costs by 2024.

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