Aviva in Delta Lloyd listing next month

INSURER Aviva yesterday said it was on track to sell off a chunk of its Dutch unit next month, raising hopes the firm will go on the hunt for buyout targets.<br /><br />Aviva said it will sell off part of the Delta Lloyd unit in November by listing the company on the Euronext stock exchange in Amsterdam.<br /><br />The initial public offering (IPO), which will see Aviva float up to 40 per cent of Delta Lloyd, is expected to raise between &euro;1bn (&pound;917m) and &euro;1.6bn.<br /><br />Aviva has a 92 per cent stake in Delta Lloyd, which sells life and pension policies in the Netherlands.<br /><br />Analysts said they hoped a large part of the proceeds would be used to make acquisitions, as Aviva takes advantage of depressed market values to buy out rivals on the cheap.<br /><br />Barrie Cornes at Panmure Gordon maintained his &ldquo;Buy&rdquo; recommendation on Aviva on hopes of a bargain-priced bolt-on for the firm.<br /><br />MF Global analyst Peter Eliot said: &ldquo;The question is whether they do something in the UK or abroad. Doing something abroad is probably more in line with their growth and diversification strategy.&rdquo;<br /><br />A &euro;1.6bn IPO would be Europe&rsquo;s biggest since New World Resources&rsquo; $2.5bn float in May 2008, and the fifth-largest IPO globally this year.<br /><br />Morgan Stanley<br /><strong>JOINT GLOBAL CO-ORDINATORS<br />DELTA LLOYD IPO</strong><br /><br />ACTING as joint global co-ordinators on the listing will be Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, with Jason Windsor from the latter playing a part the deal.<br /><br />Windsor was part of the team drafted in when Aviva proposed a merger with Prudential back in March 2006, before it was rebuffed. He was also heavily involved in the tie up between entrepreneur Hugh Osmond&rsquo;s insurer Pearl and Clive Cowdery&rsquo;s buyout vehicle Resolution in October.<br /><br />Windsor also worked on the sale of fund manager Gartmore to US private equity house Hellman &amp; Friedman in 2006, and the following year helped building society Nationwide merge with rival Portman in a &pound;150bn deal.