Aviva is planning to enter the South Korean life insurance market by forming a consortium with Woori Finance Holdings Company. The consortium has entered into a definitive agreement with LIG Insurance and seven individual shareholders to acquire a 91.65% stake in LIG Life Insurance, a South Korean life insurance company, for a consideration of KRW137.17 billion in cash.

After completion of the transaction, Aviva will hold a 40.65% stake in LIG Life. The closing of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to take place in the first half of 2008. Aviva and Woori plan to develop LIG Life’s business distribution predominantly through bancassurance via Woori’s banking network and independent financial advisors.

Simon Machell, CEO of Aviva Asia Pacific, said: Our strategy is to grow our global customer reach and deliver average annual growth of 20% in the Asia Pacific region. Already 8% of Aviva’s total sales come from our rapidly growing businesses in Asia. LIG Life will enable Aviva to roll out its global bancassurance expertise in South Korea in conjunction with Woori, one of the country’s largest financial institutions.