Report: Apollo in the lead to purchase Aviva U.S. life and annuities unit

By Paul Wilson

ProducersWEB


Private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC is said to be in the lead to buy Aviva Plc's U.S. life and annuities unit, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Apollo is pursuing a joint bid with Guggenheim Partners LLC in an effort to beat out a separate bid from Harbinger Group Inc., people involved in the negotiations said.

Aviva CFO Pat Regan said last week that the unit's sale would come at a significant discount to its book value of $3.8 billion, excluding debt.

The potential deal is part of a large downsizing by Aviva, the U.K.'s second-largest insurer. The company is selling or closing nearly one-third of its 58 businesses in an attempt to remove itself from less profitable markets and boost capital reserves in the wake of the European debt crisis, Bloomberg said.

Last month, Apollo boosted capital at its Athene Holding Ltd. Annuity business by contributing assets of approximately $800 million from a publicly traded fund. The move will Private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC is said to be in the lead to buy Aviva Plc's U.S. life and annuities unit, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.