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Top Aviva investor slashes stake ahead of Friends deal

One of Aviva’s largest shareholders has reduced the size of its stake in the insurer by more than two-thirds ahead of the agreed acquisition of Friends Life.

The Financial Times reports US-based asset manager Capital Group has taken its shareholding in Aviva down from 3.9 per cent to 1.2 per cent, having dumped around 81m shares worth £410m since the takeover news was released two weeks ago.

The sale makes Capital Group the 20th largest shareholder in Aviva.

Aviva and Friends Life agreed the terms of the all-share deal this week, valuing Friends Life at over £5bn.

Under the proposed acquisition, Friends Life shareholders will receive 0.74 new Aviva shares for each Friends Life share they currently own. Once the deal is completed, Friends Life shareholders will own approximately 26 per cent of the new life company.

Capital Group has not commented.


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