Activist Cevian takes 5% stake in British insurer Aviva

Investor says insurer should be able to return £5bn of excess capital in 2022

Activist investor Cevian Capital said on Tuesday it had built up a 4.95 per cent stake in Aviva and that the British insurer should be able to return £5 billion of excess capital in 2022.

"Aviva has been poorly managed for many years, and its high-quality core businesses have been held back by high costs and a series of bad strategic decisions," Christer Gardell, managing partner and co-founder of Cevian said in a statement.

Aviva should have a value of more than £8 per share within three years, and more than double its dividend to 45 pence, Cevian said.

Aviva’s shares are currently trading a little over £4 a s hare.


Aviva said last month it had raised £7.5 billion from recent disposals and planned to return money to shareholders, without putting a figure on it.

Analysts have said the insurer would have between £3.7 and £6.6 billion of excess capital following the completion of the asset sales.

“Aviva has made significant strategic progress over the past 11 months and we remain sharply focused on further improving our performance,” an Aviva spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“We regularly engage with investors and welcome any thoughts which move us towards our goal of delivering long term shareholder value”. – Reuters