UK insurer Aviva has increased its footprint in India with a 51% stake in the third largest Sri Lankan insurer, Eagle Insurance, for GBP15 million.

Aviva acquired its stake by buying a majority shareholding in Eagle’s immediate holding company, NDB Finance Lanka from Capital Development & Investment.

The company said that the acquisition would give Aviva the opportunity to be the first to offer bancassurance in Sri Lanka. It is also seeking to use local expertise in high-performance direct sales to boost its Indian operation.

The bancassurance agreement with NDB is for both life and general insurance business and gives access to 25,000 customers through its 28 branches. Philip Scott executive director of Aviva International said, This strengthens our position in the Indian sub-continent and offers good opportunities for growth. Eagle is a very well-established and successful business.