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Aviva to raise 1bn by listing its Dutch unit

INSURANCE group Aviva will today announce plans to raise &pound;1bn through a partial flotation of Dutch unit Delta Lloyd.<br /><br />The insurer is expected to float between 30 and 40 per cent of the Dutch business on the Euronext Stock Exchange in Amsterdam.<br /><br />The listing will be the biggest initial public offering in Europe in the last 18 months. <br /><br />Last month Delta Lloyd chief executive Nick Hoek said it would float a 25-30 per cent stake &ldquo;as soon as conditions allow&rdquo; to bolster its capital and benefit from takeovers Delta Lloyd could do in the Benelux insurance market. <br /><br />Aviva, which holds 92 per cent of Delta Lloyd, will retain a majority stake.<br /><br />Hoek said Delta Lloyd&rsquo;s attention was on the IPO process and not on acquisitions, despite speculation it could become a major consolidator in the Dutch market.<br /><br />A number of insurance assets are on the market or are expected to be soon in the Netherlands, including life insurer Robein Leven and nationalised insurer <br />ASR. Analysts believe Delta Lloyd would be the most obvious buyer of such properties.<br /><br />A spokesman for Aviva declined to comment but reiterated previous comments made by the company that Aviva would seek to float the division when market conditions were right.