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RSA attempts to re-open talks with Aviva

It seems that British insurers RSA and Aviva could yet end up around the negotiating table with the announcement that RSA is still open to talks regarding a potential acquisition of the company's general insurance operations. This comes after a weekend of press comment with Aviva management forced to go on the front foot and defend the decision not to make the approach by RSA public.

While many believe that the initial offer of £5 billion is well below the asking price for the Aviva general insurance operation there are some analysts who believe that RSA would be willing to sweeten the deal with a further "few hundred million pounds". So far RSA has been unwilling to comment officially on what it may or may not do, only confirming that it would be open to formal talks with Aviva.

Despite the fact that the Aviva management is adamant that a sale of the general insurance business would not be "in the best interests of shareholders" pressure is building from institutional shareholders. In the current economic environment many people believe that "Cash is King" and the £5 billion on offer could be used to expand the Aviva operation elsewhere.

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