Aviva Plc is considering options for its Asian business including a possible divestment of the unit as its new chief executive officer seeks to overhaul the British insurer, people familiar with the matter said.
The Asian assets could be valued at about $3 billion to $4 billion and a formal process could kick off later this year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. While Aviva is exploring options with potential advisers, the discussions are at an early stage and no final decisions have been made, they said.
Several rival insurers have signaled interest in the business, though some potential bidders would only want to acquire parts of the division, the people said. A representative for Aviva declined to comment.
Chief Executive Officer Maurice Tulloch, who took over in March, has said he’s going to cut expenses by 300 million pounds ($363 million) a year and cut 1,800 jobs by 2022. It’s an attempt to re-inject growth in the company and lower debt. Rivals have done better by concentrating on life and pensions rather than general insurance.
Tulloch, 50, said in June that he’s “determined to crack Aviva’s complexity, an issue which has held back our performance for too long.” He’s said he’ll unveil the rest of his strategy in November.
U.K.-based Aviva has about 52% of its customers outside of its home market. The company has 885,000 clients in Singapore as well as strategic investments working with local partners in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam and India, according to its website.
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. Life insurance products were responsible for the increase, while the loss on general and health insurance widened.
–With assistance from Will Hadfield, David Ramli, Lucca de Paoli and Aaron Kirchfeld.