Aviva this morning said it will increase and extend the ordinary share buyback programme it announced in August from £750m to £1bn, expected to complete by the end of March next year.
It comes after the British insurance giant pledged “at least” £4bn to shareholders by next June after it came under pressure from activist investor Cevian to return excess capital next year after it completes the sale of a collection of non-core divisions.
But Aviva’s promise of £4bn fell short of the £5bn demanded by Cevian, which built a 5 per cent stake in Aviva and is its second-biggest shareholder after BlackRock.
“We are increasing our share buyback to £1 billion1 as part of our commitment to return at least £4bn to ordinary shareholders. We will update further on our capital return and dividend plans at our full year results in March 2022,” said Amanda Blanc, Group Chief Executive Officer.