It’s been a raucous time for Aviva, whose preference shares fiasco did more than just raise a few eyebrows in March – but now it looks like it’s business as usual for the British insurance giant.
Group chief executive Mark Wilson has previously shed light on the firm’s acquisition plans, what with its “pile of cash” waiting to either be spent or given back to shareholders. “I like tactical bolt-ons,” he stated a few months back.
“We have significant surplus capital and cash and this means we will have £3 billion of excess cash to deploy in 2018 and 2019, £2 billion of which we plan to deploy next year,” said Wilson in November. “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.”
Now it’s been revealed that Aviva has increased its stake in ITV. Alliance News said the insurer’s interest in the television network has increased, from below the notification threshold, to 3%. The report added that Aviva’s shares climbed 0.8% on Thursday, at 487.20 pence per share.
Meanwhile the price of preference shares issued by General Accident and Aviva fell by 20-30% shortly after it was disclosed that the supposed ‘irredeemable’ shares could be cancelled at par value. Aviva has since retracted the March 08 pronouncement.
Both the Financial Conduct Authority and Treasury Committee intervened in the matter.