Transaction expected to complete on 13 April

Mark Wilson, Aviva

Shareholders have approved Aviva’s planned £5.6bn acquisition of Friends Life.

Some 99.79% of Aviva shareholders voted in favour of the deal at the company’s annual general meeting.

This was despite dissent from Aviva shareholder Philip Meadowcroft.

In addition 94.39% of Friends Life’s scheme shareholders voted in favour of the deal at the company’s court meeting.

If the Guernsey Court sanctions the scheme on 10 April, Aviva expects the deal to complete on 13 April.

Aviva group chief executive Mark Wilson said: “We welcome shareholders’ endorsement of the financial and strategic logic of this acquisition. This is the right deal at the right time for Aviva.

“The enlarged UK life business, to be led by Andy Briggs, will be an industry leader, well positioned to serve customers in the vibrant UK life and pensions sector.”

Friends Life group chief executive Andy Briggs added: “We are delighted that our shareholders have today voted in favour of the recommended all-share acquisition by Aviva.

“The Friends Life board believes that the combination of the two businesses offers attractive growth opportunities for the shareholders of the enlarged group, as the increased scale will help drive better profitability, and improved service as our customers will benefit from access to a broader range of products.”

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