Aviva targets mergers and acquisitions, Canada a priority

Published: January 20, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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British insurance giant Aviva has money to burn and wants to spread the wealth to all 15 nations the company operates in. That includes Canada, where the Aviva Canada division is the second largest property and casualty insurance provider in the country.

Aviva group CEO, Mark Wilson, says the company is looking for acquisition across its divisions.

“We had all the CEOs in just before Christmas and said that we’ve a very large ‘war chest’,” Wilson told The Irish Times in an interview. “I’m not going to do big jumbo deals, but I like tactical bolt-ons.”

The largest insurance provider in the UK has 31 million customers. How much money the company has to spend is unclear, but Wilson made it clear he is focused on mergers and acquisitions in three key markets – Poland, Turkey, and Canada.

“We have significant surplus capital and cash and this means we will have £3 billion (around C$5.18 billion) of excess cash to deploy in 2018 and 2019, £2 billion (around C$3.45 billion) of which we plan to deploy next year,” said Wilson last November when Aviva upgraded its targets. “In 2018 we expect to use our excess cash to pay down £900 million of expensive debt, return capital to investors, and invest in growing our business, both organically and through acquisitions.”