One Direct in Aviva takeover

An Post has reached initial agreement via its insurance subsidiary One Direct to buy the branch network element of the general insurance arm of Aviva Ireland.

Aviva’s recent tendering process for the sale led it to selecting One Direct, which employs 102 people at its headquarters in Athlone.

Final agreement — following due diligence — is expected to be reached in the coming weeks, with the deal anticipated to be concluded by September.

While Aviva will continue offering a general insurance service to its Irish customers, the deal means it will no longer do so through a high street retail channel.

In all, Aviva employs 59 people across 26 retail branches in the Republic. Half of these employees will transfer to One Direct and An Post’s post office network, while the other half will be redeployed elsewhere within Aviva Ireland.

The latter detail forms part of Aviva’s recent announcement it was cutting its projected job loss total here from 950 to 540.

Sean Egan, CEO of Aviva Ireland, said the deal with One Direct was influenced by the dual objectives of minimising job losses and selecting a strong business to sustain customer services.

“This agreement in principle is another important step forward in our overall restructuring process.

“We must become a fitter company, positioned to be more responsive to consumer needs. I am satisfied that we are on the right path,” he said.

Meanwhile, An Post chief executive Donal Connell said: “This is a very positive development for One Direct and for An Post and is fully in line with our stated strategy of developing new, relevant, value-for-money income streams.”


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