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Aviva PLC says 'dasvidania' to Russian unit

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Aviva PLC today announced an agreement to sell Aviva Russia to Blagosostoyanie, a non-state pension fund in Russia, for €35 million. Payment will be made in cash and, according to the company, represents a “modest premium” to IFRS book value.

The sale, which needs to be approved by the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation, is expected to close sometime in the first half of this year. As of September 2012, Blagosostoyanie held total assets of approximately €6.5 billion, including approximately €4.2 billion of pension reserves and €1.9 billion of pension savings. Blagosostoyanie serves over 2.8 million individual customers.

This latest deal follows a string of dispositions the company has undertaken since revealing its course of shedding non-core business units and exiting non-performing markets. Biggest among those transactions was its sale of Aviva USA to Athene Holding Ltd. for $1.8 billion. That deal was announced in December, but earlier, in July 2012, London-based Aviva PLC sold 37 million shares of Dutch insurer Delta Lloyd for £318 million. A month before that, the company reduced its Italian Sovereign bond holdings by just under €2 billion. Last year also saw Aviva sell off its operations in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania to MetLife Inc.