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Aviva sells US life arm for £1.7bn

Deal is £500m more than first estimated by insurer in December.

Aviva has raised $2.6m (£1.7bn) through the sale of its US life and annuities business to life company Athene.

The sale of the business has raised an extra $800m more than estimated by the insurer when it first announced the deal in December, as part of Aviva’s plan to narrow its focus on markets.

Aviva chief executive Mark Wilson says: “The sale of the US business is another milestone for Aviva: it simplifies the business, strengthens the capital position and is a step towards our goal of creating a business focused on cash flow and growth.”

The insurer still owns the North American asset management activities of Aviva Investors focused on third parties, and Aviva plc assets outside of the USA.

Access Wealth partner Jim Clancy says: “This move seems to make sense a lot of firms have gone into the US and got their fingers burned. It is a sensible move for Aviva to focus on areas of the market where it knows it can make money.”

In August 2012, Aviva wrote down £876m of “goodwill and intangible assets” in its US business.

In January, the insurer sold its 49 per cent stake in Malaysian insurance business CIMB-Aviva to Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada for £152m.

Aviva and CIG Berhad, the owner of CIMB Bank, launched CIMB-Aviva as a joint venture in 2007.

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