British life, motor and home insurer Aviva said on Friday it will sell its majority shareholding in its Singapore business to a consortium led by Singapore Life for S$2.7 billion ($1.98 billion), as the company reduces focus on Asia.

Aviva’s shares jumped higher and were up 4.8% at 302.2 pence by 1415 GMT.

The Singlife consortium includes alternative asset firm TPG, which will become the largest shareholder in the new group on completion, Japanese insurer Sumitomo Life and other existing Singlife shareholders.

“The sale of Aviva Singapore is a significant first step in our new strategy to bring greater focus to Aviva’s portfolio,” said newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Amanda Blanc.

Blanc has been looking to sharpen the company’s focus on Britain, Ireland and Canada.

Former CEO Maurice Tulloch carried out a strategic review of the Asian businesses last year, but sources said he was unable to secure a high enough price to sell Aviva’s Singapore division.

The deal consists of S$2 billion in cash and marketable securities, S$250 million in vendor finance notes and a 25% equity shareholding in the new group.

The new business will initially be branded as Aviva Singlife in Singapore.

“We believe this constitutes exceptional value creation for the group and represents clear delivery from the new CEO Amanda Blanc on her promise for decisive action,” Jefferies analysts said.

Aviva Singapore’s customers and partners will continue to deal with the company as usual and there is no impact to customer policies, the company said. ($1 = 1.3664 Singapore dollars)

Topics Mergers & Acquisitions