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Aviva and Friends Life agree on $8.8B merger

The boards of British insurance company Aviva and Friends Life said they had agreed on an all-share merger, on Tuesday, in a deal worth £5.6 billion ($8.8 billion).

Holders of Friends Life shares will receive 0.74 new Aviva shares for each Friends Life share they hold, a joint release said. The deal values each Friends Life share at 394p, and the shareholders will own 26 percent of the enlarged Aviva.


Friends Life shareholders will also receive a second interim dividend of 24.1 pence per share. Aviva said it proposes to pay a final dividend of 12.25 pence for 2014, up 30 percent on last year.

"The Proposed Acquisition not only consolidates Aviva's leading position which Aviva has established in the U.K., it is expected to enable a much stronger dividend flow and balance sheet position than would otherwise have been possible," John McFarlane, chairman of Aviva, said in the release. "It also offers Friends Life Shareholders an attractive outcome."

Aviva said the merged company is expected to generate £600 million in excess cash flow a year and about £225 million in annual cost savings by the end of 2017.

- Reuters contributed to this report