Soaring Eagle

Feb. 01 (LBO) – Aviva, UK’s largest insurance giant’s, picked up controlling stake in Eagle Insurance Ltd for £15 million or Rs. 2.7 billion, the firm said Wednesday. At present ranked the world’s sixth largest insurance group based on gross worldwide premiums, Aviva said 51 percent also came with a partnership with Eagle’s parent NDB Bank, to offer bancassurance products.

Aviva and NDB will be the principal shareholders of Eagle, the statement said.

The controlling stake is believed to have been sold at Rs. 180 per share with NDB Bank pocketing a capital gain of about Rs. 970 million.

Eagle is a composite insurer, with life, general insurance and asset management operations.

Eagle is Sri Lanka’s third-largest insurer with a 20 percent share of the local life market on a gross written premium basis, Aviva said.

In 2004 Eagle had total gross written premiums of £19.6 million or Rs. 3.5 billion.

The life business accounts for 70 percent of Eagle’s premium income, derived predominantly via direct sales.

General-insurance business accounts for 30 percent of premium income, and is in line with Aviva’s strategy of focusin