Aviva may cut 1,500 jobs as part of Friends takeover

British insurer Aviva said yesterday it may cut 1,500 jobs by the end of 2017 from a total workforce of 31,500 following its planned £5.6bn (€7.3bn) acquisition of rival Friends Life.

Aviva may cut 1,500 jobs as part of Friends takeover

“We appreciate that this news may be disconcerting for employees and we would look to ensure that any redundancies are kept to a minimum wherever possible, by using vacancies and natural turnover,” an Aviva spokesman said.

Aviva published the prospectus for the agreed takeover yesterday. Shareholders can vote on the deal on March 26 and Friends Life shares will de-list by April 13 if it goes ahead.

Aviva agreed a €7bn takeover deal of its UK rival last month. However, the company was warned by the Unite trade union yesterday against cutting jobs as part of the move.

The union, which represents around 4,000 members across both companies, is warning that a pursuit to cut costs would do nothing for the future of the new company. Customer service will suffer if staff are the casualties of the purchase of Friends Life, it added.

The deal with Friends is the biggest in the industry since the merger of CGU and Norwich Union created the company now known as Aviva in 2000.

In 2011, Aviva announced plans to cut up to 900 jobs in Ireland out of a total of 2,000.

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