INSURANCE group Aviva fired the starting gun on a partial flotation of Dutch business Delta Lloyd today, in a move expected to raise at least £1 billion.
Britain’s largest insurer confirmed it will sell a minority stake in Delta Lloyd in a stock market listing scheduled for next month.
The operation is one of the top five financial services providers in the Netherlands, with around £40 billion in assets under management. It employs about 6,400 staff.
The listing is taking place sooner than expected after Aviva said at its interims in August that a sale would not take place until next year.
However, the improvement in the health of equity markets and the high level of interest among Dutch institutional investors have encouraged Aviva to move more quickly.
The share sale would be one of the biggest offerings in Europe for at least 18 months. Aviva has not disclosed details of the float, but reports at the weekend said it intended to sell between 30% and 40% of the business in Amsterdam, valuing the company at around £4 billion.
Aviva said the partial flotation gave it the flexibility to bolster its balance sheet or to explore other opportunities for growth.
It added that Delta Lloyd stood to benefit from a new shareholder base supportive of the company’s growth ambitions in the Benelux region.
More information about the proposed listing will be included in a prospectus due to be published later this month.