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Activist Cevian takes 5% stake in British insurer Aviva

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“Aviva has been poorly managed for many years, and its high-quality core businesses have been held back by high costs and a series of bad strategic decisions,” Christer Gardell, managing partner and co-founder of Cevian said in a statement.

Aviva should have a value of more than eight pounds per share within three years, and more than double its dividend to 45 pence, Cevian said.

Aviva’s shares are currently trading a little over four pounds a share.

Aviva said last month it had raised 7.5 billion pounds from recent disposals and planned to return money to shareholders, without putting a figure on it.

Analysts have said the insurer would have between 3.7 and 6.6 billion pounds of excess capital following the completion of the asset sales.

“Aviva has made significant strategic progress over the past eleven months and we remain sharply focused on further improving our performance,” an Aviva spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“We regularly engage with investors and welcome any thoughts which move us towards our goal of delivering long term shareholder value”.

($1 = 0.7063 pounds)

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