Cevian Builds Stake in Aviva

Aviva Turnaround Could See ‘Constructive’ Boost from Cevian, Though Hurdles Stand – advisers 18 June 2021 Cevian Builds Stake in Aviva

Pablo Mayo Cerqueiro of Mergermarket, an ION Group company, penned an article on Cevian’s recent investment in Aviva plc.

Andrew Brady and Ali Saribas both provided comments to Mergermarket on Cevian’s investment and what this means for Aviva plc. Not seeking a board seat at this stage is a reassuring sign of long-term engagement, Ali Saribas said. “However, things can change quite quickly within this dynamic,” he cautioned. Should its ambitions change, Cevian would presumably avoid a public boardroom fight, Ali Saribas said, pointing to its experience at Nordea. Cevian entered the Scandinavian bank’s board of directors without the need for a proxy battle.

As it unveiled a circa 4.95% stake in Aviva last week, Cevian said the British life and general insurer had been held back by poor management and high costs. However, the activist signalled support for Aviva’s current leadership team, saying that its CEO and chairman are committed to unlocking the company’s potential. For now, there will likely be a lot of back and forth between Cevian and management, with the activist pushing to step up current plans, said Andrew Brady, a senior analyst at SquareWell. “It will be a case of negotiating the appetite of management to be more aggressive in the ‘reforms’ they have already set out,” he said.

The full article can be accessed here (subscription required).


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