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August 7, 2009

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Delta Lloyd gets prepared for IPO

DUTCH insurer Delta Lloyd said yesterday it was making preparations for a spin-off from parent Aviva and an initial public offering, and had a close eye on acquisitions in the crisis-hit Benelux insurance market.

Delta Lloyd has fared better than many of its competitors over the last year.

It is already a major investor in the Dutch market and could accelerate consolidation in a sector hit hard by the credit crisis.

The news comes as several of Europe's top insurers, such as Axa, Standard Life Plc and Old Mutual, have warned of difficult times ahead.

Despite that, Zurich Financial Services beat expectations with its second-quarter profits yesterday and sounded a more optimistic note.

Aviva Chief Executive Andrew Moss said the newly public Delta Lloyd would be on the hunt for deals.

"We do believe there are opportunities, as does the Delta Lloyd board, for consolidation in the Benelux market, and we want to make sure Aviva shareholders benefit from value creation that would come from that," Moss said on a conference call.

The insurance market in the Benelux region has been in a heavy state of flux since the credit crisis began.

One of the main reasons was because of the substantial writedowns insurers had to take and the subsequent government bailouts they required.


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