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Aviva completes £600m share buy-back

Aviva has completed a share buy-back programme worth nearly £600m, the life company has said in an update published today.

In spring the insurer said it was planning to buy back up to £600m of its own shares, in an effort to deploy £2bn of excess capital this year.

At the time the provider said it had “significant excess capital” and would use £900m for debt reduction, £500m for acquisitions and £600m for the share buy-back.

The update this morning confirms that Aviva acquired 119,491,188 shares at an average price of £5.02 per share – a total cost to the firm of £599.8m.

Aviva is a leading shareholder in consumer giant Unilever, and has also said this morning that it will vote against the consumer giant’s plan to move headquarters to the Netherlands in a key vote next month.

Aviva Investors chief investment officer David Cumming says: “Unilever’s decision appears to be a defensive response to recent governance challenges and consequently will not create any value for shareholders.

“Furthermore, a material number of long-standing supportive UK shareholders will become forced sellers due to the resultant removal of this high quality company from the FTSE All Share and FTSE 100 indices.”

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